Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in both men and women. Colon cancer screenings are one of the best methods to detect the disease and start treatment while it’s still in the early stages. At Illinois Gastroenterology Group in Gurnee, Evanston, Skokie, Libertyville, Lindenhurst, Highland Park, & Lincoln Park, Chicago, Illinois, the board-certified specialists know the signs to look for and the diagnostic tests to conduct in suspected cases of colon cancer. Call or use the online scheduler to book your colon cancer screening today.
Colon cancer, or colorectal cancer, is a type of cancer that affects your colon, large intestine, or rectum. These are essential components of your digestive system that are responsible for breaking down food for energy and eliminating the byproducts of digestion from your body.
Colon cancer usually starts off as a noncancerous growth called a polyp that slowly develops into full-blown cancer.
This is why colon cancer screenings are essential. They can catch polyps and other abnormal growths early, so your specialist at Illinois Gastroenterology Group can remove them before they become life-threatening.
If you have polyps in your colon, you may notice symptoms like:
Polyps in your colon usually don’t have any symptoms, and most patients only find out they have them with a screening.
Illinois Gastroenterology Group uses a colonoscopy procedure to screen for colon polyps and diagnose colon cancer.
During a colonoscopy, your specialist inserts a tiny, flexible tube with a fiberoptic camera and light into your rectum. The camera and light provide a well-lit, magnified image from the inside of your colon in real-time and allows your specialist to check for any abnormal growths.
If you have polyps or other growths that concern your doctor, they take a biopsy to determine whether the growth is benign or cancerous. They can also completely remove the polyp during the colonoscopy.
At Illinois Gastroenterology Group, a team member can conduct your colonoscopy procedure in 20-30 minutes. You need to rest for 30 minutes after the procedure until your sedative wears off, after which you can return home and resume your regularly scheduled activities.
The American Cancer Society recommends regular colon cancer screenings for patients over the age of 45. You may need more frequent screenings or need to start them earlier if you have:
Colonoscopies can be uncomfortable, but this is an important screening test as early detection can increase your chances of surviving colon cancer by 90%.
Talk to a specialist at Illinois Gastroenterology Group to determine how often you need screenings and when you should start them.
To learn more about colon cancer screening and the colonoscopy procedure, call Illinois Gastroenterology Group or book an appointment online.