Colon cancer often develops without causing symptoms in its early stages, which is why routine colon cancer screenings are essential to your health. Northern Medical Group Gastroenterology Division, with offices in Fishkill, Poughkeepsie, and Highland, New York, provides thorough colon cancer screening procedures, including colonoscopy, sigmoidoscopy, and lab tests. If you’re due for a colon cancer screening, call the practice or schedule an appointment online today.
The team of board-certified gastroenterologists at Northern Medical Group Gastroenterology Division offers various diagnostic tests to screen for colon cancer, including colonoscopy, sigmoidoscopy, CT scans, double-contrast barium enemas, and fecal testing.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), you should begin to have routine colon cancer screenings when you turn 50. However, if you have a personal or family history of colon cancer, your doctor might recommend starting screening earlier.
If you have a low risk of colon cancer, you should have the screening every 10 years unless your doctor tells you differently.
Your doctor provides detailed instructions on how to prepare for your colon cancer screening. Depending on the specific test, you might need to fast for 12 hours and complete a bowel prep.
Make sure to talk to your doctor about any other health conditions or allergies and provide a list of any medicines, vitamins, or supplements that you take daily.
Your experience depends on the type of screening. For example, if you have a colonoscopy or a sigmoidoscopy, your doctor provides a sedative to keep you comfortable during the test. You should usually get your results within a week.
They insert a lighted scope into your rectum and colon to look for polyps and other signs of abnormal tissue. They can take biopsies and remove abnormal polyps during these procedures.
However, if you can’t have a colonoscopy or sigmoidoscopy, your doctor may give you a barium enema before taking X-rays of your colon. The barium helps create clear images of your colon and rectum, making it easier to identify abnormal growths.
If you have a sedative before your colon cancer screening, you need a friend or family member to drive you home. You should also avoid strenuous activities and operating any machinery for at least 24 hours.
If you’re due for a colon cancer screening, call Northern Medical Group Gastroenterology Division today or schedule this potentially life-saving test online.