Posts for tag: colon cancer screening
Colorectal cancer is cancer that begins as a polyp, a noncancerous growth, that has the potential to turn into cancer if left untreated. At Hunterdon Digestive Health Specialists, Dr. Anubha Sinha provides her patients with colon cancer screenings at her Flemington and Hillsborough, NJ, office.
More About Colorectal Cancer
The risk of colorectal cancer increases with age, usually occurring in people over 50. Colorectal cancer is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer in men and women in the United States, according to The American Cancer Society, which estimates more than 53,000 deaths in 2020.
Risk factors vary from one person to another and while the risk increases as you age, anyone of any age can develop colorectal cancer. You do not need to have a family history and men are slightly more susceptible to getting colorectal cancer than women. African Americans are slightly more at risk as well, and your lifestyle and medical history play a major role:
Choose to eat healthily because consuming too many meats, processed foods, and barely any fruits and vegetables without exercising leads to obesity.
Smoking, chewing tobacco, drinking alcohol, having a history of certain types of cancers (breast, testicular, and prostate), and suffering from Inflammatory Bowel Disease or IBD increases your risk of colorectal cancer.
What are the symptoms of colorectal cancer?
- Blood in the stool
- A change in bowel habits (constipation, thin stools, anal leakage)
- Feeling like you haven't completely emptied your bowels
- Abdominal pain, cramping and bloating
- Unintentional weight loss, iron deficiency anemia, and unexplained fatigue
- Fevers, chills, and night sweats
- Back pain that keeps you up at night
Colon Cancer Screenings in Flemington and Hillsborough
People 50 years of age and older should be screened. If your family history shows colon cancer, or you have polyps, Ulcerative Colitis, Crohn’s disease, or another inherited disease, you should get a cancer screening sooner.
There are several different screening tests available including stool studies to examine blood, stool DNA tests, sigmoidoscopy, a colonoscopy, and a virtual colonoscopy.
Who to Contact for a Colon Cancer Screening
At Hunterdon Digestive Health Specialists, Dr. Anubha Sinha can help her Flemington and Hillsborough, NJ, patients. If you'd like to learn more about colon cancer screenings or would like to schedule an appointment, call her office at 908-788-8200.
Find out why older adults should get routine colonoscopies no matter their current health.
Just as we require routine medical checkups each year, or choose to get flu shots or take other precautionary measures to protect our health, we should also do what we can to protect our intestinal health, as well. Sure, it might not be the first thing that comes to mind, but if you are someone who is dealing with unexplained stomach or intestinal issues, or if you just turned 45 years old, our Flemington and Hillsborough, NJ, gastroenterologist, Dr. Anubha Sinha, can tell you why you should schedule a colon cancer screening.
Why is a colon cancer screening important for everyone?
The main reason a colon cancer screening is performed is for the early detection of precancerous polyps. As you can imagine, finding and removing these polyps during the precancerous stage means that they don’t have the opportunity to manifest into cancer.
When colorectal cancer is caught in its earliest stages it’s very treatable; however, the only way to be able to detect colorectal cancer early is through screenings (as symptoms of colorectal cancer don’t typically appear until the cancer has already spread).
What does a colon cancer screening entail?
The best screening tool for being able to detect colorectal cancer is a colonoscopy. Routine colonoscopies should be performed on both men and women once they turn 45 years old. A colonoscopy uses a very thin tube with a camera on the end that is inserted into the rectum and through the intestines to provide our Flemington and Hillsborough GI doctor with detailed images of the colon and rectum to look for early signs of cancer.
Before your colonoscopy, your doctor will give you a medication that will help empty out your bowels. You will not be able to eat anything prior to your procedure, as we will need to keep the colon empty. When you come in for your screening, we will run an IV and provide you with sedation and twilight anesthesia to help you feel calm, relaxed, and pain-free during the procedure. It only takes about 30 minutes to complete the screening but it may take longer if we need to remove polyps (which we can also do during the screening).
From there, we will tell you the results of your test. If everything looks healthy and you’ve never had polyps or a family history of polyps then you may not need another colonoscopy for 10 years. Of course, those who are at an increased risk for colorectal cancer or those who’ve had a personal history of polyps may need to come in more often for colon cancer screenings.
Hunterdon Digestive Health Specialists have offices in Flemington and Hillsborough, NJ, to serve you better. Call our office today if you need to schedule a routine colonoscopy with us or if you are experiencing any changes in your gastrointestinal health.