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Dispelling Myths About Colonoscopy – Here are the Facts

Dispelling Myths About Colonoscopy – Here are the Facts

Our approach is one of careful and thorough assessments with the aim of correct diagnosis and problem-solving.

We also aim to empower our clients with the knowledge to better understand and manage their condition.

We want all our patients to be informed decision makers and fully understand any health issues of the digestive system. Dr. Schneider is devoted to his patients and is an advocate for health screening and treatment.

Colonoscopy lets a gastroenterologist look inside your large intestine from the rectum through the colon to the lower end of the small intestine.

The procedure checks a variety of gastrointestinal symptoms, including unexplained changes in bowel habits or the cause of bleeding from the rectum.

It’s also used to look for early signs of cancer in the colon and rectum.

A colonoscopy is the most accurate and effective screening for colon cancer and you don’t need a referral for a screening at Gi Doc Jhb.

Colon cancer screening can be lifesaving; don’t let any of these myths stop you from getting screened and taking an active role in your health.

To find out more about Colorectal cancer in South Africa, click here

 

Schedule An Appointment With Dr. Schneider

 

is colonoscopy embarrasing img - Dispelling Myths About Colonoscopy - Here are the Facts

Myth #1: It’s Too Embarrassing

Gastroenterologists understand that a colonoscopy is a potentially embarrassing experience for patients, and do all they can to make them comfortable — from providing a curtain for undressing, a private room, and blankets to stay warm and covered.

Patients can also make an appointment with their gastroenterologist before the procedure to meet face to face and ask any questions that will help them feel more comfortable.

It can also help to remember that we have performed hundreds of colonoscopies and consider the colon the same way they would any other organ.

 

Myth 2: “If I don’t have any symptoms, I don’t need a colonoscopy.”

Colon polyps often don’t cause any symptoms. It’s not until they’ve transformed into full-blown colon cancer that symptoms may arise.

The whole point of a colonoscopy is to remove these polyps before they become cancerous. The prevalence of polyps increases with age.

Therefore even older individuals should keep up with colon cancer screening. If you have a family history of colon cancer you should speak with your physician about when to begin routine colonoscopy screening.

 

Myth 3: The Procedure is very Uncomfortable

A colonoscopy is a pain-free procedure that is usually done under anesthesia. The procedure itself takes only 30 minutes and you can resume normal activities the next day.

 

colonoscopy procedure complications - Dispelling Myths About Colonoscopy - Here are the Facts

Myth 4: Colonoscopies Carry a High Risk of Complications

Complications during or after colonoscopy are very rare. The bottom line is your risk of developing colon cancer is far higher than your risk of suffering a complication due to a colonoscopy.

It is, however, important to schedule your colonoscopy with a physician who is certified to perform this procedure.

 

Myth 5: I’ll Have to Take a Week Off from Work

At most, you’ll need to take off the day you’re drinking your prep – since you’ll be spending a good part of the day in the bathroom – and the day of the procedure. You’ll be foggy from the anesthesia and probably drained from a day of cleansing.

 

Myth #6: Colonoscopy is Difficult to Prepare for

Preparing for a colonoscopy is a very simple process and involves following a liquid diet for one day before the procedure.

Preparation also involves cleaning the colon with the help of prescription and over-the-counter medications.

Typically these are liquid drinks that you must consume a day or two before the procedure.

 colonoscopy-pricing-johannesburg

Myth #7: Screening Colonoscopy is Expensive, and I won’t be able to Pay for It

A screening colonoscopy is covered by insurance. The out-of-pocket cost to the individual is usually minor.

Patients should discuss with their insurance companies what their out-of-pocket costs might be.

 

Myth #8: Colonoscopies aren’t Necessary for Women

Colorectal cancer affects men and women in nearly equal numbers. It’s not only a man’s disease; therefore, screening for colonoscopies are for everyone.

Ask your gastroenterologist when you should begin screening. Colon cancer is in the top 4 cause of cancer deaths for men AND women around the world.

 

Myth #9: Everyone Should Start Screening at the Age of 50

Not necessarily. For people with an average risk of colorectal cancer, it’s a good idea to start regular screenings at age 50.

But if you have a higher risk, your gastroenterologist might want to get you started earlier.

You may be at high risk if you have:

  • A personal or family history of colorectal cancer or certain types of polyps
  • A personal history of inflammatory bowel diseases, such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes

 

colon-cancer-colonoscopy

Myth #10: When you are Diagnosed with Colon Cancer, it has Spread to Other Parts of your Body

This is not true. The majority of patients diagnosed with colon cancer can be treated and will go on to live normal lives.

The earlier we identify the problem area, the less likely the tumor will have spread to other parts of your body.

 

Myth 11: “There’s Nothing I Can Do to Prevent Colon Cancer.”

Colon cancer is strongly associated with lifestyle choices such as exercising, eating a healthy diet and maintaining a healthy weight are a few simple steps people can take to reduce and lower their the risk of colon cancer.

Obesity, physical inactivity, consumption of red meats (beef and pork, for example) and processed meats (like lunch/deli meats, hot dogs and sausage), a diet low in fiber, smoking, and alcohol use are all associated with an increased risk of a patient getting colon cancer.

 

DISCLAIMER: PLEASE READ CAREFULLY

The information on this website is to provide general guidance. In no way does any of the information provided reflect definitive medical advice and self-diagnoses should not be made based on information obtained online. It is important to consult a Gastroenterologist or medical doctor regarding ANY and ALL symptoms or signs including, but not limited to: abdominal pain, haemorrhoids or anal / rectal bleeding as it may a sign of a serious illness or condition. A thorough consultation and examination should ALWAYS be performed for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan. Be sure to call a physician or call our office today and schedule a consultation.

5 Reasons to See a Gastroenterologist

5 Reasons to See a Gastroenterologist

Dr. Schneider has specialized medical training and significant experience with diseases affecting the stomach, intestines, oesophagus, liver, pancreas, colon and rectum.

Patients are usually referred to a gastroenterologist by a primary care doctor after examination or health discussions.

Gastroenterologists have the tools and expertise to diagnose and treat your conditions correctly.

Often, seeing a gastroenterologist leads to more accurate detection of polyps and cancer, fewer complications from procedures and less time spent in the hospital.

If you’ve never seen a gastroenterologist before but are struggling with digestive issues, you might wonder when it’s time to see a GI doctor.

We’ve created a list of the top 5 reasons to see a gastroenterologist in Johannesburg to help educate patients on the most common symptoms and help lessen any fear towards seeing a GI doctor.

 

heartburn - 5 Reasons to See a Gastroenterologist

 

1. Heartburn

 

While heartburn is fairly common amongst adults, consistent heartburn more than twice a week could be a sign of a more serious issue like acid reflux, or GERD.

Reflux is a burning sensation felt behind the chest that occurs when stomach contents irritate the normal lining of the oesophagus.

Sometimes it’s difficult to know when your heartburn symptoms are severe enough that you need to make an appointment with a gastroenterologist, and we understand that.

Here are some indications that it’s time to see a gastroenterologist:

  • Symptoms that continue for more than twice a week
  • Heartburn that persists after taking over-the-counter medications
  • Heartburn episodes that change in frequency or intensity
  • Acid reflux that interferes with your daily activities or affects your quality of life
  • Heartburn accompanied by nausea or vomiting

 

gallstones - 5 Reasons to See a Gastroenterologist

 

2. Gallstones

 

Gallstones are small, hard nuggets or pellets that form in the gallbladder.

A gallstone can be as tiny as a grain of sand or as big as a golf ball.

Pain from gallstones almost always passes once they move.

Gallstones also may form if the gallbladder does not empty completely or often enough.

People who are obese, have a family history of gallstones, and over the age of 40 (especially women), have increased risk of developing gallstones.

Obesity increases the amount of cholesterol in bile, which can cause stone formation.

Here are some indications that it’s time to see a gastroenterologist:

  • Upper-right quadrant pain that does not go away within 4-5 hours
  • Sweating
  • Chills
  • Low-grade fever
  • Yellowish colour of the skin or whites of the eyes (jaundice)
  • Clay-coloured stools

 

 

IBD - 5 Reasons to See a Gastroenterologist

 

3. Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)

 

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) describes a cluster of disorders in which the intestines become inflamed.

The small and large intestines become irritated and swollen, causing a bunch of complications like belly pain, rectal bleeding, and diarrhoea.

Symptoms may ease up but then returns during a flare.

IBD is often confused with a similar condition called irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) but the two conditions are different.

IBD is a more serious condition, which may lead to a number of complications including damage to the bowel and malnutrition.

IBD tends to be hereditary, although not everyone with IBD has a family history of the disease.

Inflammatory bowel disease can happen at any age but is mostly diagnosed in teens and young adults.

Here are some indications that it’s time to see a gastroenterologist:

See your doctor if you experience a persistent change in your bowel habits or if you have any of the signs and symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease.

Although inflammatory bowel disease usually isn’t dangerous, it’s a serious disease that, in some cases, may cause life-threatening complications.

 

 

Schedule an Appointment With Dr. Schneider

 

colon cancer screening - 5 Reasons to See a Gastroenterologist

 

4. Colon Cancer Screening

 

After a certain age, older adults should make a habit of screening for cancer that could affect your digestive tract.

This means screenings for colorectal cancer, intestinal cancer, and beyond.

The good news is that colorectal cancer is one of the most preventable types of cancer.

Colorectal cancer can be prevented, not just detected, through colonoscopy.

Here are some indications that it’s time to see a gastroenterologist:

Gastroenterologists recommend that all people who are physically healthy start screening for colon cancer at age 50.

If you are pregnant, overweight or live an unhealthy lifestyle, we recommend screening before age 50.

You are recommended to get screened for colon cancer even if you do not have a family history of cancer and have not had any symptoms.

Colonoscopy is recommended at least once every 10 years.

More information on Colon Cancer can be found here.

 

constipation - 5 Reasons to See a Gastroenterologist

 

5. Constipation

 

Constipation is infrequent bowel movements (less than three a week) or difficulty in passing stools.

Constipation symptoms include hard stools and feeling like your bowel hasn’t completely emptied.

If you are affected by constipation, it could mean a serious digestive issue is causing it.

The good news is that constipation is not a disease, but a condition.

Constipation can affect anyone, regardless of age.

However, its most common amongst older people, people who are dehydrated, or have diets that are low in fibre.

Here are some indications that it’s time to see a gastroenterologist:

When you have constipation that won’t go away for 3 weeks or more, it’s time to see a doctor or gastroenterologist for help.

This is by no means a definitive list – there are numerous conditions that can cause abdominal or abnormalities with the gut and stomach.

 

Preparing for Your Appointment

 

Because appointments can be brief, and because there’s often a lot of information to cover, it’s a good idea to be well-prepared.

Here’s some information to help you get ready.

  • Be aware of any pre-appointment restrictions. At the time you make the appointment, be sure to ask if there’s anything you need to do in advance, such as following a certain diet, etc.
  • Write down any symptoms you’re experiencing.
  • Write down key personal information, including any major stresses or recent life changes.
  • Make a list of all medications, vitamins, supplements or herbal medications you’re taking.
  • If you think you might be scared of your check-up results and think you might need support, we recommend taking a close relative of yours with you to see your doctors such as a family member or close friend.

DISCLAIMER: PLEASE READ CAREFULLY

The information on this website is to provide general guidance. In no way does any of the information provided reflect definitive medical advice and self-diagnoses should not be made based on information obtained online. It is important to consult a Gastroenterologist or medical doctor regarding ANY and ALL symptoms or signs including, but not limited to: abdominal pain, haemorrhoids or anal / rectal bleeding as it may a sign of a serious illness or condition. A thorough consultation and examination should ALWAYS be performed for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan. Be sure to call a physician or call our office today and schedule a consultation.

A Quick Guide to a Gastroscopy

A Quick Guide to a Gastroscopy

Dr. Schneider provides rapid assessment, intervention and treatment for numerous common and complex stomach conditions.

Whether you are an inpatient or an outpatient, you will be cared for by Dr Schneider and his team of professionals who are dedicated to ensuring that you receive the best possible treatment and advice.

All GiDoc clinical staff are highly qualified within their field and undergo regular, extensive training. This ensures the highest standards of care, aiding patients with a faster recovery.

When patients come to our gastroenterology practice, we aim to see them as quickly as possible, and make a diagnosis using the most appropriate and effective tests.

In this post, we’ll discuss Gastroscopy.

what is gastroscopy - A Quick Guide to a Gastroscopy 

What is a Gastroscopy?

Gastroscopy is an examination where a Gastroenterologist passes a thin, flexible tube called an endoscope through your mouth and into your esophagus, stomach and small intestine (bowel).

This tube has a light and a camera at the end which takes pictures of what is seen and feeds the images into a monitor allowing the Gastroenterologist to examine the lining and check for any abnormalities such as inflammation or ulcers.

More information can be found here.

 

Why is a Gastroscopy Needed?

Your gastroscopy findings will help your doctor decide on which treatment is best to help you or whether further examinations are needed to be carried out.

A gastroscopy may be recommended if you have symptoms that suggest a problem with the stomach.

This could be difficulty swallowing or unexplained weight loss. The procedure can help to diagnose the underlying cause of these symptoms.

Other reasons may include:

  • Investigate problems such as difficulty swallowing, indigestions, abnormal bleeding, low levels of iron, anemia, vomiting, unintentional weight loss and heartburn
  • Diagnose conditions or find out the cause of symptoms such as stomach ulcers or gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD), nausea and vomiting
  • To screen for and prevent stomach cancer
  • To remove foreign objects
  • Treat conditions such as bleeding ulcers, a blockage in the oesophagus, non-cancerous growths (polyps) or small cancerous tumours.

 

Schedule an Appointment With Dr. Schneider

before gastroscopy - A Quick Guide to a Gastroscopy


During a Gastroscopy

A gastroscopy examination often takes less than 20 minutes, although it may take longer if it’s being used to treat a condition.

It’s almost always carried out as an outpatient procedure, which means you won’t have to spend the night in hospital.

Your nurse or Gastroenterologist will then explain the procedure and ask you to sign a consent form. This is a good time to ask any questions you might have.

Before the procedure, your throat will be numbed with a local anaesthetic spray.

Usually, you’re awake when you have the test, but you can choose to have sedative medicine to relax and make you drowsy.

The procedure shouldn’t be painful, but it may be unpleasant or uncomfortable at times.

Some endoscopy units may ask you to change into a hospital gown, but you can usually have the test in your own clothes if you prefer.

A small plastic mouth guard will be placed gently between your teeth to help you keep your mouth slightly open and make it easier for your doctor to pass the endoscope (camera).

Your Gastroenterologist will start by gently inserting the gastroscope through your mouth and into the oesophagus, stomach and duodenum.

Using the video images, your doctor can examine your food pipe and stomach lining to look for redness or inflammations. If necessary, a tissue sample will be taken.

When the examination is finished, the gastroscope will be removed carefully.

 

after endoscopy - A Quick Guide to a Gastroscopy

After a Gastroscopy

Your nurse or Gastroenterologist will talk to you about how the test went, if they took any biopsies and when to expect the results.

You might have some bloating and discomfort lasting a few hours after the gastroscopy.

Because of the sedative given to you before the procedure, it may also affect your memory for a few hours afterwards and you may still be feeling drowsy.

For this reason, a relative or friend should come with you and drive you home if possible.

After the sedative you should not:

  • drive a car for 24 hours
  • drink alcohol for at least 24 hours
  • operate machinery for 24 hours
  • sign any important documents until the next day
  • undertake any other activities likely to place you at risk.

Although the doctor may briefly run through the findings of the gastroscopy with you once the sedative has worn off, a follow-up appointment is usually made to discuss the test results in more detail.

What are the Possible Risks or Complications of a Gastroscopy?

A gastroscopy is generally a very safe procedure, but like all medical procedures it does carry a risk of complications.

Possible complications can include a sore throat or a numb feeling in your mouth which is caused by the anaesthetic spray.

Complications like bleeding and injury to organs are very rare. The gastroscope may cause minimal damage to your teeth when it is put into your mouth.

Only in very rare cases do sedatives lead to complications such as breathing problems or cardiovascular problems.

Occasionally, sedation can cause problems with your breathing, heart rate and blood pressure.

The risks are higher in older people and those with lung or heart problems. Your nurse closely watches you for any problems during the test, so they can treat it quickly.

Getting Your Results

You should get your results within 2 weeks. The results are sent to you and your gastroenterologist or you may get them at a follow up appointment.

However, if a biopsy sample was removed, this might take up to six to eight weeks.

DISCLAIMER: PLEASE READ CAREFULLY

The information on this website is to provide general guidance. In no way does any of the information provided reflect definitive medical advice and self-diagnoses should not be made based on information obtained online. It is important to consult a Gastroenterologist or medical doctor regarding ANY and ALL symptoms or signs including, but not limited to: abdominal pain, haemorrhoids or anal / rectal bleeding as it may a sign of a serious illness or condition. A thorough consultation and examination should ALWAYS be performed for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan. Be sure to call a physician or call our office today and schedule a consultation.

Cancer Screening: All You Need to Know

Cancer Screening: All You Need to Know

Dr Schneider employs a comprehensive approach to the treatment of colon cancer and rectal cancer, with integrated use of surgery, radiation when applicable and chemotherapy.

 

What is Colorectal Cancer Screening?

 

Checking for Colorectal cancer (Colon cancer) or for abnormal cells that may become cancer in people who have no symptoms is called screening.  

Screening can help doctors find and treat several types of cancer early before they cause symptoms.

Early detection is important because when abnormal tissue or colon cancer is found early, it may be easier to treat.

By the time symptoms appear, cancer may have begun to spread and be harder to treat.

It is important to remember that when your doctor suggests a screening test, it does not always mean he or she thinks you may have colon cancer.

Screening tests are done when you have no cancer symptoms. When a person has symptoms, diagnostic tests are used to find out the cause of the symptoms. 

Sidenote: If you have a strong family history of colorectal polyps or cancer, you have a higher risk of getting colorectal cancer yourself. 

Cancer in first-degree relatives such as parents, brothers, and sisters is most concerning. 

Having two or more relatives with colorectal cancer is more concerning than having only one relative with it, which is why we recommend you be screened more regularly if this is the case with you.

Talk With Dr Schneider About Your Risk

 

Is Screening for Colon Cancer Effective?

 

From the time the first abnormal cells start to grow into polyps, it usually takes about 10 to 15 years for them to develop into colorectal cancer. 

With regular screening, most polyps can be found and removed before they have the chance to turn into cancer.

Regular colorectal cancer screening is one of the most powerful weapons for preventing and finding traces of colorectal cancer.

If you’re interested in the latest Colorectal cancer findings, click here.

 

 

When Should You be Screened for Colon Cancer?


People at risk of colorectal cancer should start regular screening before the age of 45.

Those who do not have a family history of colon cancer should get screened at age 45 onwards.

There are some exceptions to this below: 

  • If you are experiencing symptoms, talk to your doctor immediately.
  • If you have a family history of colorectal cancer or polyps, we recommend getting screened 10 years before the age of the youngest case in your immediate family (mother, father, sister, brother)
  • If you have ulcerative colitis, inflammatory bowel disease or Crohn’s disease we recommend also getting screened.

 

Symptoms of Colorectal Cancer

 

Many people with colon cancer experience no symptoms in the early stages of the disease.

When symptoms appear, they’ll likely vary, depending on cancer’s size and location in your large intestine.

Consult with a Gastroenterologist if you have these symptoms:

  • A persistent change in your bowel habits, including diarrhoea or constipation or a change in the consistency of your stool.
  • Blood in your stool.
  • Persistent abdominal discomforts, such as cramps, gas or pain.
  • Bleeding from the rectum.
  • Feeling like the bowel is not empty after a bowel movement.
  • Weakness or fatigue.
  • Unexplained weight loss and loss of appetite.
  • A lump in the abdomen or rectum.

 

Talk With Dr Schneider About Your Symptoms

 

Test Options for Colorectal Cancer Screening

 

Several test options are available for colorectal cancer screening:

 

1. Stool-based tests:

 

  • Highly sensitive faecal immunochemical test (FIT) every year.
  • Faecal occult blood test (FOBT). This test finds blood in the faeces, or stool, which can be a sign of polyps or cancer. There are two types FOBT: guaiac and immunochemical.
  • Multi-targeted stool DNA test (MT-sDNA) every 3 years.

 

 

2. Visual (structural) exams of the colon and rectum:

 

  • During this procedure, the doctor inserts a flexible, lighted tube called a colonoscope into the rectum. The doctor can check the entire colon for polyps or cancer.
  • CT colonography (virtual colonoscopy) every 5 years.
  • The doctor uses a flexible, lighted tube called a sigmoidoscope to check the lower colon for polyps and cancer. The doctor cannot check the upper part of the colon with this test.

 

Can Colon Cancer be Prevented?

 

Keeping your body healthy can lower your chances of getting colon cancer. Here are some steps you can take to decrease your risk.

  • Stop Using Tobacco – Talk to your doctor about ways to quit that may work for you.
  • Maintain a Healthy Diet – Fruits, vegetables and whole grains contain vitamins, minerals, fibre and antioxidants, which may play a role in cancer prevention.
  • Skip Alcohol – If you drink alcohol, drink only in moderation.
  • Exercise Regularly – Maintaining a healthy weight and getting regular exercise such as walking, gardening, or going to the gym will reduce your risk.
  • Don’t Forget Vitamins – Take calcium or folic acid supplements.
  • Know Your Family History – Talk with your Gastroenterologist if you are concerned about your personal or family history of cancer and decide when to start regular cancer screening.
  • Get Screened – Be sure to get regular check-ups and talk to your health care provider about cancer screening.

 

Stages of Colorectal Cancer

 

Staging describes or classifies cancer based on how much cancer there is in the body and where it is when first diagnosed. This is often called the extent of cancer.

The stage is the most important prognostic factor for colorectal cancer. The lower the stage at diagnosis, the better the outcome.

For colorectal cancer, there are 5 stages – stage 0 followed by stages 1 to 4. More information can be found here.

 

Stage 0

The cancer cells are only in the inner lining of the colon or rectum (mucosa) and have not grown past the muscle layer of the mucosa.

 

Stage 1

The tumour has grown into the layer of connective tissue that surrounds the mucosa (submucosa) or into the thick outer muscle layer of the colon or rectum (muscularis propria).

Stage 2

Many stage II colon cancers have grown through the wall of the colon, and maybe into nearby tissue, but they have not spread to the lymph nodes.

 

Stage 3

Stage III colon cancers have spread to nearby lymph nodes, but they have not yet spread to other parts of the body.

Stage 4

The cancer has spread to other parts of the body (called distant metastasis), such as to the liver or lungs. Even though stage 4 cancer is not considered curable, there are many treatment options available.

 

Surgery Options

 

Surgery is the primary treatment for most colorectal cancers. Depending on the stage and location of the tumour, you may have one of the following types of surgery:

 

  • Removing Polyps During a Colonoscopy (Polypectomy)

If your cancer is small and in the early stage, and has not spread to other body parts, your doctor may be able to remove it completely during a colonoscopy.

 

  • Minimally Invasive Surgery (laparoscopic surgery)

Polyps that can’t be removed during a colonoscopy may be removed using laparoscopic surgery.

In this procedure, your surgeon operates through several small incisions in your abdominal wall, inserting instruments with attached cameras that display your colon on a video monitor.

  • Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy is a common treatment for colorectal cancer. It is often used after surgery for stage 2 and 3 colon cancer. 

Chemotherapy can be used as the main treatment for stage 4 or recurrent cancer in the colon or rectum that can’t be removed by surgery.

  • Chemoradiation

Chemoradiation combines chemotherapy with radiation therapy. Chemotherapy is given during the same period as radiation therapy. 

 

  • Radiation Therapy

Radiation therapy is mainly used for cancer in the rectum. It is usually used before surgery and may be given as part of chemoradiation.

 

  • Targeted Therapy

Targeted therapy is used to treat stage 4 colorectal cancer that has spread to distant organs like the liver or lungs.

 

Follow-Up Care

Follow-up after treatment is an important part of cancer care. You will need to have regular follow-up visits, especially in the first 5 years after treatment has finished.

These visits allow your gastroenterologist to monitor your progress and recovery from treatment.

 

 

DISCLAIMER: PLEASE READ CAREFULLY

The information on this website is to provide general guidance. In no way does any of the information provided reflect definitive medical advice and self-diagnoses should not be made based on information obtained online. It is important to consult a Gastroenterologist or medical doctor regarding ANY and ALL symptoms or signs including, but not limited to: abdominal pain, haemorrhoids or anal / rectal bleeding as it may a sign of a serious illness or condition. A thorough consultation and examination should ALWAYS be performed for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan. Be sure to call a physician or call our office today and schedule a consultation.

GIDoc

gidoc jhb logo - Cancer Screening: All You Need to Know

Patient-focused GI treatments and procedures in Parktown, Johannesburg

Monday-Friday 8AM-4PM.

Connect with Us

© Dr. H Schneider, Registered Gastroenterologist, GI Doc Johannesburg

Our website information is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a doctor about your specific condition. Only a trained physician can determine an accurate diagnosis and proper treatment.

Colon Cancer Screening Guidelines

Colon Cancer Screening Guidelines

Colorectal cancer is the 2nd or 3rd most common cancer in the Western world.

It is potentially preventable, which makes it a target for screening and prevention.

Tests recommended:

• High-sensitivity fecal occult blood test (FOBT), which checks for hidden blood in three consecutive stool samples; should be done every year.

• Flexible sigmoidoscopy, where physicians use a flexible, lighted tube (sigmoidoscope) to look at the interior walls of the rectum and part of the colon; should be done every five years with FOBT every three years.

• Colonoscopy, where physicians use a flexible, lighted tube (colonoscope) to look at the interior walls of the rectum and the entire colon; should be done every 10 years. During this procedure, samples of tissue may be collected for closer examination, or polyps may be removed. Colonoscopies can be used as screening tests or as follow-up diagnostic tools when the results of another screening test are positive.

Other Screening Tests in Use or Being Studied:
• Cat Scan colonography
• Stool DNA Test

If you are age 50 and older, you are at average risk if you have the following:
• No symptoms
• No personal or family history of colorectal cancer or precancerous polyps (benign growths in the inside surface of the colon or rectum)
• No personal history of inflammatory bowel disease (ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s colitis)
• No family history of colorectal cancer or precancerous polyps

People with an increased risk for colorectal cancer may benefit from earlier, more frequent screenings.

You are at increased risk if you have one of the following:
• Personal history of colorectal cancer or precancerous polyps 
• Family history of a first-degree relative (such as a parent or sibling) who had cancer or a precancerous polyp in the colon or rectum before the age of 50, or multiple family members with colorectal cancer or polyps
• Personal history of long-standing (more than eight years) inflammatory bowel disease (ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s colitis)
• Family history of familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP). 
• Family history of Lynch syndrome (formerly known as hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer), a condition caused by mutations in specific genes that accounts for approximately 2 to 3 percent of all colorectal cancer diagnoses
• You may also have an increased risk for colorectal cancer if you’ve had therapy for another type of cancer. In that case, your treatment team may recommend more frequent screenings.
• Stronger family history may indicate a genetic predisposition to colorectal cancer and will be further evaluated.

Tests that prevent cancer are preferred over those that only detect cancer

Colonoscopy findings and recommended scheduling of follow-up colonoscopy will be discussed after your examination.

DISCLAIMER: PLEASE READ CAREFULLY

The information on this website is to provide general guidance. In no way does any of the information provided reflect definitive medical advice and self-diagnoses should not be made based on information obtained online. It is important to consult a Gastroenterologist or medical doctor regarding ANY and ALL symptoms or signs including, but not limited to: abdominal pain, haemorrhoids or anal / rectal bleeding as it may a sign of a serious illness or condition. A thorough consultation and examination should ALWAYS be performed for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan. Be sure to call a physician or call our office today and schedule a consultation.

GIDoc

gidoc jhb logo - Colon Cancer Screening Guidelines

Patient-focused GI treatments and procedures in Parktown, Johannesburg

Monday-Friday 8AM-4PM.

Connect with Us

© Dr. H Schneider, Registered Gastroenterologist, GI Doc Johannesburg

Our website information is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a doctor about your specific condition. Only a trained physician can determine an accurate diagnosis and proper treatment.

Colorectal Cancer

Colorectal Cancer

The objective of this article is to promote an understanding of the need for colorectal cancer (CRC) screening and prevention.

Current guidelines on screening will be presented. The awareness of risk factors will be highlighted.

1.24 million new cases of CRC were diagnosed in 2008, with 394,000 deaths from this disease. In the southern hemisphere, most cases are seen in Australia and New Zealand.

USA data predict 120,000 new cases in 2015, with 50,000 deaths. Colorectal cancer is the 3rd leading cause of cancer death in the USA.

The death rate is declining, due to more widespread screening and earlier diagnosis.
Early diagnosis results in better 5-year survival, ranging from 92% in early cancer to 11% in advanced cancer.

About 80% of colorectal cancers are sporadic, due to genetic mutations that occur in a person lifetime.

Sporadic CRCs tend to occur in older individuals, compared to inherited cancers. CRCs develop through an adenoma-cancer sequence.

The adenomas are benign premalignant lesions, which once removed, will not process to cancer.

It is this fact that makes CRC amenable to screening and prevention.
Risk factors for CRC:
Non-modifiable risk factors include

1. Age
2. Personal history of adenomatous polyps or cancer
3. Family history of colon polyps or cancer
4. Inflammatory bowel disease-ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease
5. Inherited genetic risk e.g. Familial adenomatous polyposis and Hereditary non-polyposis CRC or Lynch syndrome

Environmental factors:
1. Nutritional factors-eating charred red meat, a diet high in animal fat, processed meat.
2. Physical inactivity and obesity.
3. Cigarette smoking
4. Heavy alcohol consumption…

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