Colon cancer is one of the most common cancers. Approximately 140,000 new patients are diagnosed and 60,000 die from colon and rectal cancer each year. Colon cancer can be prevented and if detected early it can even be cured. Polyps are often a pre-cursor to colon cancer.
You personally have had polyps or colon cancer
You have a family history of colon cancer or polyps
You have a family history of non-colon cancer including breast cancer, uterine cancer or ovarian cancer
Detection of polyps and removal are the best ways to avoid colon cancer.
To be thorough and complete, you should have at least one colonoscopy to allow the physician to visualize and remove any suspicious lesions, as the Barium Enema and Flexible Sigmoidoscopy can miss small lesions and diseases to the lining of the colon.
If you are over 50 years old and have no risk factors of cancer, you should at least have your stool tested for blood every year and a screening flexible sigmoidoscopy and/or barium enema performed every three to five years. A flexible sigmoidoscopy is a shorter and smaller scope than a colonoscopy. A sigmoidoscopy shows about 1/3 of your colon.
Patients who are at high risk for the development of colon and rectal cancer should have a full colonoscopy every 5 years starting at 35 or 40 years of age in addition to testing the stool for blood every year.
You will need to take some form of bowel cleansing to allow the best view of your colon. Your doctor can advise which exam and bowel prep are appropriate for you.
For your convenience Patients may fill out Patient Information/Medical History Form or Ask the Doctor a Question through the Contact Us link. Physicians may also fill out our Physician Referral form located on the Contact Us page.
This section is as reference guide only. The information contained herein should not be used as or construed to be a diagnosis or used in place of a visit to a physician.