Gastroenterology: Colon Cancer Screenings - Rapid City Medical Center

Gastroenterology: Colon Cancer Screenings

Although cancer of any kind is a formidable enemy in the medical world, we do have some crucial defenses that can be literal life-savers. Many defenses are straightforward and easy to apply, like healthy lifestyle choices, but the most important defense is also the one that is least understood: cancer screenings, especially those for Colon Cancer.

Colon Cancer

Colorectal cancer is a type of cancer that begins in either the colon or the rectum, and it’s commonly called just “colon cancer.” Colon cancer is among the most common types of cancer in the United States, and it is more common in those over the age of 50. Luckily, colon cancer screenings have proven to be extremely effective in catching early signs and symptoms–and removing them. This unique screening can identify polyps, or abnormal growths, in the colon and rectum, and it instantly eliminates them if they aren’t cancerous. If they are cancerous, the screening process identifies the best and fastest treatment, meaning that, no matter the situation, a colon cancer screening could be a life-saver.

What You Need to Know

Wondering what you need to know about colon cancer screenings? Let our Gastroenterology experts explain!

  • Age. The general age to start regular colon cancer screenings is 50, but there are some risk factors, including health problems and certain ethnic backgrounds, that might lower the starting age to 45. It’s important to talk to your doctor about when to start these screenings.
  • Frequency. When it comes to colon cancer screenings, most people want to know how often they have to have this procedure done. The truth is that it all depends on you. Most of the time, it is suggested that flexible sigmoidoscopy, colonoscopy, and double-contrast barium enema procedures are done every five years–unless a screening found cancerous polyps, in which case your doctor will change the frequency.
  • Symptoms. What symptoms suggest that a colon cancer screening is necessary? If you notice spontaneous weight loss, rectal bleeding, bowel pain, or other questionable symptoms, it’s possible that you see the early signs of colon cancer, and screening is crucial.

Interested in more info on colon cancer screenings? Looking for Gastroenterology experts? Contact us today!