Colon cancer is the third most common type of cancer in women and men, yet it can be prevented with a screening colonoscopy to find and remove polyps before they become cancerous. The skilled team at Triborough GI has years of experience protecting their patients’ health by performing screening colonoscopies. To learn when you should schedule this life-saving procedure, call one of the offices in Brooklyn, the Bronx, or Staten Island, New York, or use the online booking form.
A screening colonoscopy is performed to examine your rectum and colon, or large intestine, for signs of colon cancer. The procedure is performed with a colonoscope, which is a long, flexible, tube containing a light and a tiny camera that sends magnified images to a screen.
As the doctors at Triborough GI thread the scope through a patient’s colon, they look for polyps and other potential problems, such as inflammation. When the scope reaches the small intestine, it’s slowly withdrawn. During this second pass, your doctor removes any polyps, then sends the tissues to a lab, where a microscopic examination determines whether the cells are benign or malignant.
Colon cancer begins when abnormally growing cells form polyps. Over time, the polyps gradually become cancerous. When you have a screening colonoscopy, the polyps can be identified and removed before they turn into cancer, which prevents colon cancer. A colonoscopy also allows you to find cancer at an early stage, while it’s still treatable.
The American Cancer Society recommends getting your first screening colonoscopy at the age of 45 if you have an average risk for colon cancer. You may need a colonoscopy earlier if you have a higher-than-normal risk of developing colon cancer.
The best way to determine your risk and decide when you should have a screening colonoscopy is to schedule an examination. Your doctor at Triborough GI thoroughly evaluates your medical history and physical health, determines your risk, and helps you decide when to have colon cancer screening.
Your initial test may be a stool-based test or a visual exam using a colonoscopy. Several stool tests are available. Some show whether you have hidden blood in your stool, while others look for signs of DNA from cancer cells. If a stool test is positive, you’ll need to follow up with a colonoscopy to obtain a biopsy and to verify whether you have cancer.
Like many cancers, colon cancer doesn’t cause noticeable problems at first, but symptoms develop as the tumor grows or spreads. When that happens, you may experience:
A change in bowel habits could include diarrhea, constipation, or narrowing of the stool.
Although it’s important to know the signs of colon cancer, you shouldn’t wait for symptoms to appear before you get a screening colonoscopy. To schedule an appointment, use online booking or call the experienced team at Triborough GI.