Different Types Of Colon Cancer Screening And When You Need To Do Them
Colon cancer is a potentially deadly disease that affects the colon and rectum. It is one of the most common cancers in the world, with over one million new cases diagnosed each year. The good news is that colon cancer is treatable if caught early. The best way to catch colon cancer early is through regular screenings. Here are four different types of colon cancer screening tests.
Fecal Occult Blood Test (FOBT)
The fecal occult blood test (FOBT) is a non-invasive test that detects the presence of blood in the stool. Blood in the stool can be an early sign of colon cancer. The test is performed at home and involves collecting a small stool sample and sending it to a lab for analysis. The FOBT is recommended for people over the age of 45 who are at average risk for colon cancer. It is recommended that the FOBT be done annually.
Flexible sigmoidoscopy is a minimally invasive test that allows a doctor to examine the rectum and the lower part of the colon. The test involves inserting a thin, flexible tube with a camera into the rectum. The camera allows the doctor to look for any abnormalities or growths in the colon. The procedure typically takes less than half an hour and does not require sedation. The flexible sigmoidoscopy is recommended every five years for people over the age of 50.
Colonoscopy is a more invasive test that allows a doctor to examine the entire colon. The test involves inserting a long, flexible tube with a camera into the rectum. The camera allows the doctor to look for any abnormalities or growths in the colon. If a growth is found, the doctor can remove it during the procedure. Colonoscopy is typically done under sedation and takes about 30 minutes to an hour. It is recommended every ten years for people over the age of 50.
Virtual colonoscopy, also known as CT colonography, is a non-invasive test that uses X-rays to create a detailed image of the colon. The test involves inflating the colon with air and taking multiple X-ray images. The images are then combined to create a 3D image of the colon. Virtual colonoscopy does not require sedation and is less invasive than a traditional colonoscopy. However, if a growth is found during the test, a traditional colonoscopy will be required to remove it. Virtual colonoscopy is recommended every five years for people over the age of 50.
Colon cancer is a serious disease that can be treated if caught early. Regular screenings are essential for early detection. The four different types of colon cancer screening tests are the fecal occult blood test, flexible sigmoidoscopy, colonoscopy, and virtual colonoscopy. Your doctor can help you determine which test is best for you based on your individual risk factors. Don't wait, get screened today.