If you have crossed your 50th birthday anniversary, then it is important that you must get yourself screened for colonoscopy. There are more than fifty thousand reasons why you should consider about this. In fact that is exactly the number people, who are dying because of colon cancer. According to famous Gastroenterologist Dr. Reddy this is the second leading cause of death due to cancer. Let us answer few questions related to screening of colon cancer.
Why it is so important to screen for colon cancer?
By doing early screening test, it is possible to identify the presence of polyps which is an early sign of colon cancer. It can be easily removed before they turn into cancerous. The colon cancer cannot be easily detected during early stages however if the doctors can identify polyps to prevent occurrence of this malaise.
What is done in colonoscopy?
Colonoscopy is a screening method by which the early symptoms of colon cancer can be detected. Following are few things about this test that you should know.
- While doing colonoscopy the doctors will examine in entire colon area to check the presence of polyps or tumors. Polyps can be immediately removed after their detection.
- During colonoscopy you will be given sedation and therefore you will not be in a position to feel any pain.
- Doctor will insert a narrow pipe (where camera is fitted on the tip) through your anus and the images can be seen through the monitor.
- Doctor will give instruction about your diet for the previous day so that your bowel remains completely empty.
- Both men and women must undergo this test after attaining 50 years of age. If you have any family history about colon cancer then you must start even before you reach 50.
Are there any other screening tests available?
If there is no facility of colonoscopy available the doctor can recommend following tests.
- DNA stool test
- CT colonoscopy
- Double contrast barium enema
- Fecal stool test
However, all these tests are not as effective as colonoscopy. Also in case any of the above tests indicates the presence of polyps then for confirming the same doctors will recommend colonoscopy.
Few other symptoms of colon cancer
Most of the symptoms mentioned below are not confirmatory as they can also occur for some other conditions too.
- Sudden change in bowel habit that continues for more than week
- Dark stools or blood on the stool
- Steady abdominal pain and bloating
- Unexplained weight loss
- Unexplained fatigue and weakness
However colonoscopy is the confirmed test for colon cancer.