Whether the time has come to get your first colon cancer screening, or you are planning ahead for a time when you will need one, you may find yourself wondering what colon cancer screening test options are available to you. Get to know more about a few of the colon cancer screening options that are currently available and one of the newest up-and-coming innovations that can change the colon cancer screening process in the near future.
A colonoscopy is the standard go-to colon cancer screening option for most people. It is a minimally invasive procedure that is performed as an outpatient test, meaning that you will not have to stay in the clinic or hospital afterwards.
Colonoscopies are performed under light general anesthesia or sometimes under local anesthesia and a sedative for an awake procedure. A colonoscope, which is small flexible scope, is inserted through the rectum and guided up into the colon. The doctor operating the colonoscope will be able to see if there are any abnormalities of polyps (growths) in the colon that could be indicative of colon cancer.
If the doctor does find any of these colon abnormalities, they can remove (biopsy) samples of them during the procedure. This allows for the combination of two procedures in one and can lead to an early colon cancer diagnosis.
Another option to screen for colon cancer is known as a CT (computerized tomography) colonoscopy. This also sometimes referred to as a virtual colonoscopy. When you select this procedure, no anesthesia is needed.
The CT colonography is a procedure that uses x-rays and computer technology to perform a painless scan of the colon and rectum to look for signs of inflammation, irritation, or abnormal growths inside the colon. Sometimes, a patient is asked to drink barium or another contrast agent to make the images easier to read.
While this seems like a more desirable option than a colonoscopy, it may not give as good of an image of the exact issue going on inside of the colon. Additionally, if there are abnormalities detected, then the patient will need to have another procedure to biopsy the abnormal tissue.
Camera Pill: The Wave Of The Future?
Doctors are constantly working to make procedures a little less invasive and easier on patients. This is why they are currently developing a type of pill that can be used as a tool for colon cancer screening.
The camera pill is technically known as a capsule endoscopy. This is a tiny camera that is swallowed by the patient. It then works its way down into the digestive tract, eventually making its way to the colon. It takes images of the colon to detect any possible cancerous growths or lesions. However, just like the CT colonography, if issues are found, you will need another procedure to remove the lesions. But, it does do away with the need for contrast materials and anesthesia for the initial colon cancer screening procedure.
Now that you know some of the colon cancer screening options, you can be sure that you select the screening option that works best for you and your needs. Contact a company like Lincoln Surgical Group PC for more information.