Colon Cancer Screening

Colorectal Cancer is the second leading cause of cancer related deaths in the United States each year. Senate Pass Colon Cancer Prevention Act.

Up to 80% of Colon Cancer related deaths can be prevented by appropriate screening and removal of precancerous polyps according to the American College of Gastroenterology. A recent article in the Fremont Argus underscores this fact.

All Colorectal Screening exams are not equal

It is important to know your options so you may discuss with your doctor the best test for you. The goal of the various exams is to get the best possible view of the entire inside of the colon as to identify and remove precancerous lesions such as polyps on growths before they become life threatening. The reliability of these examinations depends on the skill, experience, and expertise of your physician. This is why it is important to be seen by a specialist, called a gastroenterologist.

Gastroenterology is a subspecialty of Internal Medicine. A gastroenterologist must complete three years of additional training, pass a standardized board exam, and meet continuing education requirements to maintain board certification. This specialized training makes the gastoenterologist the most qualified medical professional to diagnose and treat disease and disorders of the digestive system including the esophagus, stomach, intestine, pancreas, gall bladder, and liver.

Gastroenterologists make use of state of the art medical technology including endoscopy, colonoscopy, radiology, ultrasound, and manometry to assist them in making the correct diagnosis. The goal is to rule out, diagnose, and treat digestive disease in its earliest stage. American College of Gastroenterology

For a list of board certified gastroenterologists in your area, please visit the web site. www.cdc.gov/cancer/screenforlife

Please know that although these tests are often anxiety provoking and may sound uncomfortable, none to them is particularly painful or unpleasant. In many cases, patients are sedated and often recall little or nothing of the procedure afterward. These relatively simple screening exams can very often prevent colon cancer. Please discuss these tests with your physician, it could make a world of difference for both of you and the ones you love.