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Why and What exactly is rectal and colon cancer screening?

Colon and rectal cancer screening involves doctors inspecting the colon and rectum for signs of cancer or growths (called polyps) that may develop into cancer. It is performed on people who have no symptoms and have no reason to believe they have cancer. According to the Best GI Cancer surgeon in Delhi , the goal is to detect and remove polyps before they develop into cancer, or to detect cancer early, before it grows, spreads, or causes problems.

The colon and rectum are the digestive tract's final sections. When doctors discuss colon and rectal cancer screening, they use the term "colorectal," which is simply a shortened version of "colon and rectal." It is also possible to say "Screening for colon cancer." Colon cancer screening, as recommended by the Best Cancer Surgeon in Delhi, lowers the risk of death from the disease. There are several types of screening tests that can accomplish this.

Benefits of this test: Colonoscopy detects the majority of small polyps and almost all large polyps and cancers. Polyps can be removed as soon as they are discovered. This test yields the most precise results. If any other screening tests are performed first and the results are positive (abnormal), a colonoscopy will be required for follow-up. If a colonoscopy is your first test, you will most likely not require a second follow-up test soon after.

Disadvantages of this test: Colonoscopy carries some risks. It can cause bleeding or tear the inside of the colon, but only 1 in 1,000 people experiences this. Cleaning out the bowels beforehand can also be unpleasant. Furthermore, because of the relaxation medication they take during the test, most people are unable to work or drive for the rest of the day after the test.

CT colonography (also known as virtual colonoscopy or CTC) - CTC uses a special X-ray called a "CT scan" to look for cancer and polyps. The preparation for most CTC tests is the same as for colonoscopy.

Benefits of this test: CTC can detect polyps and cancers throughout the colon without the use of relaxing medications.

Drawbacks of this test: If doctors discover polyps or cancer using CTC, they usually perform a colonoscopy. CTC occasionally discovers areas that appear abnormal but are actually healthy. This means that CTC can lead to unnecessary tests and procedures. Furthermore, CTC exposes you to radiation. In most cases, the preparation required for bowel cleaning is the same as that required for a colonoscopy. The test is costly, and some insurance companies may not cover it for screening purposes.

Blood stool test - "Stool" is another word for bowel movements. Stool tests are most commonly used to look for blood in stool samples. Cancers and polyps can bleed, and if they do so near the time of the stool test, blood will appear on the test. Even small amounts of blood that you cannot see in your stool can be detected by the test. Other, less serious conditions can also result in small amounts of blood in the stool, which will be detected by this test.

Benefits of this test - This test does not require any procedures or cleaning of the colon.

Drawbacks of this test – Does not detect polyps. These tests are also frequently abnormal in people who do not have cancer. If a stool test reveals an abnormality, doctors will usually recommend a colonoscopy.

Sigmoidoscopy - A sigmoidoscopy is similar to a colonoscopy in some ways. The difference is that this test only examines the last part of the colon, whereas a colonoscopy examines the entire colon. You must use an enema to clean out the lower part of your colon before having a sigmoidoscopy. This bowel cleaning is not as thorough or as unpleasant as the one performed for a colonoscopy. You do not need to take any medications to relax for this test, so you can drive and work afterwards if you wish.

Benefits of this test: Sigmoidoscopy can detect polyps and cancers in the rectum and last part of the colon. If polyps are discovered, they can be removed immediately.

Drawbacks of this test: Sigmoidoscopy tears the inside of the colon in about 2 out of every 10,000 people. The test also cannot detect polyps or cancers in parts of the colon that the test does not examine. If polyps or cancer are discovered during a sigmoidoscopy.

Stool DNA test:

This test looks for genetic markers of cancer as well as blood signs. You will be given a special kit to collect a complete bowel movement for this test.

Advantages of this test: This test does not require any procedures or cleaning of the colon.

Drawbacks of this test: collecting and shipping an entire bowel movement may be unpleasant. If a DNA test reveals an abnormality, doctors will usually recommend a colonoscopy.

As per the Best Cancer doctor in Delhi, no blood test is accurate enough to be used for screening.

How do I determine which test to take?

Decide which test is best for you in consultation with your doctor. Some doctors may combine screening tests, such as sigmoidoscopy and stool testing, for blood. It is more important to be screened than to choose which test to take.

Who should have a colon cancer screening?

As per Best Gi Cancer surgeon in Delhi NCR,

  • Most people begin screening for colon cancer at the age of 45.
  • People who have an increased risk of getting colon cancer sometimes begin screening at a younger age.
  • People with a strong family history of colon cancer, as well as people with diseases of the colon known as "Crohn's b disease" and "ulcerative colitis," may fall into this category.