Routine colon cancer screenings are an important part of your preventive health care plan. Intestinal polyps can become cancerous, and to identify the cancer in its earliest stages, the board-certified gastroenterologists at Pioneer GI Clinic offer advanced colon cancer screening technologies in-office. The providers can also remove suspicious or cancerous polyps during minimally invasive procedures. Call the office in Anchorage, Alaska, today to schedule a colon cancer screening, or book an appointment online today.
Colon cancer affects the large intestine, or colon, which is the last part of your digestive tract. The cancer begins as small, noncancerous polyps that form in the lining of your intestine. Some polyps can turn malignant (cancerous) over time.
Older people are at a higher risk for colon cancer, but the disease can develop at any age. You may also be more likely to develop colon cancer if you have Crohn’s disease, other inflammatory intestinal conditions, or have a personal or family history of cancer or diabetes.
A poor diet and lifestyle can also contribute to colon cancer. This includes:
To lower your risk for cancer, you should have regular colon cancer screenings starting at age 50, or sooner if you have risk factors for the disease. Screenings help identify polyps before they turn cancerous, so you can start treatment sooner.
The gastroenterologists at Pioneer GI Clinic offer several types of colon cancer screenings in-office to identify suspicious or abnormal polyps in your intestinal lining.
These tests include:
Stool tests can identify blood in your stool that may indicate the presence of colon cancer.
During a flexible sigmoidoscopy, the providers insert a thin, flexible, lighted tube into your rectum to check for polyps or cancerous tissue inside your rectum and in the lower third of your colon.
A colonoscopy is similar to a flexible sigmoidoscopy, except the flexible tube the physicians use is longer to check your entire colon for polyps and suspicious tissue.
CT colonoscopy, or virtual colonoscopy, uses X-ray images of the entire colon to check for polyps or cancerous tissue without invasive procedures.
If the Pioneer GI Clinic providers find evidence of colon cancer during your screening, they can determine how advanced it is.
Treatment for colon cancer may involve removing small polyps during a colonoscopy. The team also offers minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery to remove large polyps through small incisions in your abdominal wall.
During surgery, the surgeons can also remove tissue samples from nearby glands to ensure cancer isn’t spreading. If you have advanced colon cancer, you may need additional surgery to remove diseased parts of your colon. The gastroenterologists can discuss the benefits of chemotherapy and radiation as part of your treatment.
To schedule a colon cancer screening, call Pioneer GI Clinic today, or book a consultation online.