Colo-rectal Cancer Screening & Prevention
It is recommended that all persons at average risk of Colorectal cancer should first get screened for cancer when they are 50 years of age. The American Cancer Society has recently recommended screening from age 45, because of Colorectal cancer occurring in younger individuals.
If you have a family history of colon cancer, you may need to get screened earlier. This screening should occur 5 years younger than the age of the affected family member.
Besides individuals with a family history of colon cancer, others that are considered at risk of the condition include those with a medical history of polyps and inflammatory bowel disease.
After your first screening, you are also expected to have subsequent screenings in 5-10 year intervals, depending on your risk profile.
You may also be scheduled to have an earlier screening depending on what your doctor found during the first screening.
The screening we have been mentioning here is a colonoscopy. This screening is not regarded as the “gold standard” procedure for the prevention of colon cancer, but is the only procedure that can both diagnose and remove the pre-malignant polyps.
Through colonoscopy, a gastroenterologist is able to see precancerous polyps in your colon and remove them thus preventing colorectal cancer.
Alternative tests include faecal occult blood test, sigmoidoscopy and virtual colonoscopy. If polyps are discovered on these tests, you will need to undergo a colonoscopy for polyp removal.
These are some conditions of the gastrointestinal system that can also increase your risk of colon cancer such as inflammatory bowel disease – ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease.
When you are diagnosed with colonic polyps your doctor may want you to have more frequent screening to monitor your condition and prevent 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.
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© 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.