Millions of Americans aren’t getting the proper colon cancer screenings they need. Because about 90% of colorectal cancer cases occur after age 50, it’s important to schedule a visit at Richmond Gastroenterology Associates if you’re over 50 or at risk of developing colon cancer. Their skilled gastroenterologists conduct comprehensive screenings and thorough colonoscopies so that you can safeguard your health. Call one of the offices, which are located in Colonial Heights, Henrico, Mechanicsville, Midlothian, Chesterfield, Richmond, and Short Pump, Virginia, or request an appointment online today.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends everyone between the ages of 50 and 75 undergo colon cancer screening, and more specifically, that screenings begin at age 50.
You may benefit from colon cancer screening at an earlier age if you have a family history of colon cancer or cancerous polyps. The team at Richmond Gastroenterology Associates may also suggest you start colon cancer screenings earlier than recommended by the CDC if you have Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis.
Many cases of colon cancer are diagnosed in those 55 and older.
There are many tests available to screen for colon cancer. Some of the tests include:
Despite the variety of colon cancer screening options, the colonoscopy is considered the most sensitive test and includes a full examination of your entire colon. If you have colon cancer risk factors, your gastroenterologist may recommend a colonoscopy for your colon cancer screening so you get the most comprehensive evaluation.
The colonoscopy is a diagnostic test your gastroenterologist uses to evaluate your colon. During the test, a small flexible tube affixed with a camera is inserted in your anus and slowly moved through the full length of your large intestines.
To ease anxiety and discomfort, your gastroenterologist performs your colonoscopy under sedation. If they find a polyp, which is a mushroom-like growth on the wall of the colon, it’s removed and sent out for testing. In most cases, polyps are benign, but they can become cancerous.
If your colon cancer screening indicates abnormalities in the tissue, additional tests may be conducted to further evaluate your colon and determine the next step in your care. If your screening indicates colon cancer, treatment may include surgical removal of the cancerous tissue, chemotherapy, radiation, targeted therapy, and/or immunotherapy.
A colon cancer screening can save your life. To schedule your exam with a team who takes a proactive role in helping you achieve better health, call Richmond Gastroenterology Associates or request an appointment online today.