Colorectal Cancer Screening: What Are My Options?

Stool-based tests

American Cancer Society Colorectal Cancer Screening Guideline Overview

Colon cancer and screening tests

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Screening is the process of looking for cancer in people who have no symptoms. These tests can be divided into 2 main groups:. These tests each have different pros and cons see the table belowand some of them might be better options for you than others. But the most important thing is to get screened, no matter which test you choose. If you choose to be screened with a test other than colonoscopy, any abnormal test result should be followed up with colonoscopy. These tests, as well as others, can also be used when people have symptoms depakote and rashes colorectal cancer or other digestive diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease.

These tests look at the stool feces for possible signs of colorectal cancer or polyps, colon cancer and screening tests. Many people find these tests easier to have than tests like colonoscopy, and they are typically done at home. But these tests need to be done more often. One way to test for colorectal cancer is to look for occult hidden blood in stool. The idea behind this type of test is that blood vessels in larger colorectal polyps or cancers are often fragile and easily damaged by the passage of stool.

The damaged vessels usually bleed into the colon or rectum, but only rarely is there enough bleeding for blood to be seen in the stool. It tests for hidden blood in the stool. This test reacts to part of the human hemoglobin protein, colon cancer and screening tests, which is found in red blood cells.

For this test, small amounts of stool are collected on cards or in tubes. You can do this in the privacy of your own home. Unlike the gFOBT see belowthere are no drug or dietary restrictions before the test as vitamins and foods do not affect the FITand collecting the samples may be easier.

This test is also less likely to react to bleeding from other parts of the digestive tract, such as the stomach. This test must be done every year, unlike some other tests like the visual tests described below. If the test results are positive that is, if hidden blood is detecteda colonoscopy will be needed to investigate further. Although blood in the stool can be from cancers or polyps, it can also have other causes, such as ulcers, hemorrhoids, or other conditions.

Your health care provider will give you the supplies you need for testing. Have all of your supplies ready and in one place. Supplies typically include a test kit, test cards or tubes, long brushes or other collecting devices, waste bags, and a mailing envelope.

The kit will give you detailed instructions on how to collect the samples. Be sure to follow the instructions that come with your kit, as different kits might have different instructions. Once you have collected the samples, return them as instructed in the kit. The guaiac-based fecal occult blood test gFOBT detects occult hidden blood in the stool through a chemical reaction, in a different way than a FIT.

The American Cancer Society recommends the more modern, highly sensitive versions of this test for screening. This test is done with a kit that you can use in the privacy of your own home that allows you to check more than one stool sample. If the test results are positive that is, if hidden blood is detecteda colonoscopy will be needed to find the reason for the bleeding.

Some foods or drugs can birth control pill and cysts the results of colon cancer and screening tests test, so you may be instructed to avoid the following before this test:.

Even if you are concerned that something you ate may alter the test, the most important thing is to get the test done. The kit will explain how to take stool samples at home usually samples from 3 straight bowel movements are smeared onto small squares of paper.

When doing this test, have all of your supplies ready and in one place. Supplies typically include a test kit, test cards, colon cancer and screening tests, either a brush or wooden applicator, and a mailing envelope.

The kit will give you detailed instructions on how to collect the stool samples. Colorectal cancer or polyp cells often have DNA mutations changes in certain genes. Cells with these mutations often get into the stool, where tests may be able to detect them. The kit will have a sample container, a bracket for holding the container in the toilet, a bottle of liquid preservative, a tube, labels, and a shipping box. The kit has detailed instructions on how to collect the sample. Be sure to follow the instructions that come with your kit, colon cancer and screening tests.

Once you have collected the sample, return it as instructed in the kit. This test should be done every 3 years. If colon cancer and screening tests test is positive if it finds DNA changes or blooda colonoscopy will be needed. These tests look at the structure of the inside of the colon and rectum for any abnormal areas that might be cancer or polyps, colon cancer and screening tests.

These tests can be done less often than stool-based tests, but they require more preparation ahead of time, and can have some risks not seen with stool-based tests.

For this test, the doctor looks at the entire length of the colon and rectum with a colonoscope, a flexible tube about the width of a finger with a light and small video camera on the end. Special instruments can be passed through the colonoscope to biopsy sample or remove any suspicious-looking areas such as polyps, colon cancer and screening tests, if needed. Be sure your doctor knows about any medicines you are taking including daily aspirin, vitamins, colon cancer and screening tests, or supplements.

You might need to change how you take them before the test. The colon and rectum must be empty and clean so your doctor can see the entire inner lining during the test. There are different ways to do this, colon cancer and screening tests, including pills, fluids, and enemas or combinations of these.

For example, you might need to colon cancer and screening tests large amounts of a liquid laxative solution the evening before the procedure. This often results in spending a lot of time in the bathroom. Because the process of cleaning out the colon and rectum is sometimes unpleasant, it can keep some people from getting this test done, colon cancer and screening tests.

However, newer kits are available to clean out the bowel and may be better tolerated colon cancer and screening tests previous ones.

Your health care provider can discuss the options with you. Your health care provider will give you specific instructions.

You will probably also be told not to eat or drink anything after a certain hour the night before your test. If you normally take prescription medicines in the mornings, talk with your doctor or nurse about how to manage them for that day. Because a sedative is used to help keep you more comfortable during the test, you will most likely need to arrange for someone you know to take you home after the test.

You might need someone to help you get into your home if you are sleepy or dizzy, so many centers that do colonoscopies will not discharge people to go home in a cab or a ridesharing service. If transportation might be a problem, talk with your health care provider about the policy at your hospital or surgery center for using one of these services.

There may be other resources available for getting home, depending on the situation. The test itself usually takes about 30 minutes, but it may take longer if one or more polyps is found and removed.

For most people, this medicine makes them unable to remember the procedure afterward. A drape will cover you. Your blood pressure, heart rate, and breathing rate will be monitored during and after the test. Your doctor might insert a gloved finger into the rectum to examine it before putting in the colonoscope. The colonoscope is lubricated so it can be inserted easily into the rectum.

Once in the rectum, the colonoscope is passed all the way to the beginning of the colon, called the cecum. The doctor also colon cancer and screening tests air into the colon through the colonoscope to make it colon cancer and screening tests to see the lining of the colon and use the instruments to perform the test.

To ease any discomfort, it may help to breathe deeply and slowly through your mouth. The doctor will look at the inner walls of the colon as he or she slowly removes the colonoscope. If a small polyp is found, it may be removed and then sent to a lab to check if it has any areas that have changed into cancer.

This is because some small polyps may become cancer over time. If your doctor sees a larger polyp or tumor, colon cancer and screening tests, or anything else abnormal, a small piece of it will be removed biopsied through the colonoscope. Possible side effects and complications: The bowel preparation before the test can be unpleasant. The test itself might be uncomfortable, but the sedative usually helps with this, and most people feel back to normal once the effects of the sedative wear off.

Because air is pumped into the colon and rectum during the test, people sometimes feel bloated, have gas pains, or have cramping for a while after the test until the air passes out.

Some people may have low blood pressure or changes in heart rhythm from the sedation during the test, but these are rarely serious. If a polyp is removed or a biopsy is done during the colonoscopy, you might notice some blood in your colon cancer and screening tests for a day or 2 after the test. Serious bleeding is uncommon, but in rare cases, bleeding might need to be treated or can even be life-threatening. Colonoscopy is a safe procedure, but in rare cases the colonoscope can puncture the wall of the colon or rectum.

Symptoms can include severe abdominal belly pain, nausea, and vomiting. This can be a major or even life-threatening complication, because it can lead to a serious abdominal belly infection. The hole may need to be repaired with surgery. Ask your doctor about the risk of this complication. This test is an advanced type of computed tomography CT scan of the colon and rectum.

A CT scan uses x-rays, but instead of taking one picture, like a regular x-ray, a CT scanner takes many pictures as it rotates around you while you lie on a table. A computer then combines these pictures into detailed images of the part of your body being studied. For CT colonography, special computer programs create both 2-dimensional x-ray pictures and a 3-dimensional view of the inside of the colon and rectum, which lets the doctor look for polyps or cancer.

But although this test is not invasive like a colonoscopy, the colon cancer and screening tests type of bowel prep is needed. A small, flexible tube is also put in the rectum for this test to fill the colon and rectum with air. And if polyps or other suspicious areas are seen on this test, a colonoscopy will still be needed to remove them or to explore them fully.

There are a number of ways to clean out the colon and rectum before the test. Often, the evening before the procedure, you drink large amounts of a liquid laxative solution.

 

Colon cancer and screening tests

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