Colon cancer occurs when cells in the lining of the colon grow uncontrollably, forming a tumor. If the tumor isn’t found and treated properly, the cancer will grow deeper into the colon and eventually spread to other parts of the body. For this reason, early diagnosis and treatment are essential.
In the earlier stages, colon cancer doesn’t typically cause any symptoms, which is why screenings are so important. However, as colon cancer grows and/or spreads, it may cause the following symptoms:
Atlantic Medical Group offers several different options to patients in need of colon cancer screening, including:
Both the fecal occult blood test and the fecal immunochemical test look for signs of blood in the stool. If either of these screening tests is positive, Dr. Ibegbu may recommend further testing.
Colonoscopy and flexible sigmoidoscopy involve looking inside the colon for polyps or cancerous tumors.
Each of the screening options available offers different advantages. For example, the fecal occult blood test and fecal immunochemical test are both non-invasive and easy to complete. However, the flexible sigmoidoscopy and colonoscopy are more accurate.
Most people should begin colon cancer screening at age 50. However, in cases where the risk of colon cancer is high or the patient has been experiencing symptoms related to colon cancer, screenings may need to begin earlier. Talk to Dr. Ibegbu to learn about your individual risk of colon cancer and determine when your screenings should begin.
Both colonoscopy and flexible sigmoidoscopy are surgical procedures. Like all surgical procedures, they pose some risks, such as an allergic reaction to the anesthesia, bleeding, and infection. There’s also a small risk of damage to the intestine.