Colon cancer is a nasty and vicious form of the disease, and it is one of the most deadly forms of cancer if left untreated. That is why so many doctors and advocates ask for everyone over a certain age and in certain at-risk groups to get a colon cancer screening on a semi-regular occurrence. Of course, you should always talk about colon cancer testing with your regular physician, but if they agree (and they usually will) that you can never be too cautious when it comes to colon cancer, then here are three screening techniques you should know about.
Provide A Sample
One type of colon cancer screening that is less invasive than some of the others listed below is where you simply provide a stool sample that is analyzed by high-tech equipment. These laboratory tests will check to see if your stool has any of the hallmarks of someone with colon cancer, and see if any irregularities need further investigation. However, the issue with stool samples is that they are not 100% accurate and may require more in-depth and rigorous testing if they do flag something, so bear that in mind when deciding on them.
The most famous and one of the most common forms of colon cancer screening is through the use of a colonoscopy. This is a routine procedure that millions of people go through every year, even if it is a bit uncomfortable and awkward to think about. This way your doctor will see if you have tissue that is changing color, any abscesses or growths, and anything abnormal at all. It is one of the most accurate ways of detecting colon cancer, as well as several other dangerous conditions and diseases that can affect the end of your GI tract.
Some people just are not eligible to receive a colonoscopy for one health reason or another. In this case, you might be given a liquid to drink that contains an element known as barium. It is completely harmless to you, but it will make your colon stand out on an X-ray so that your doctor will still be able to investigate it without putting you through such a delicate procedure. More modern variations of the barium enema are done by simply using a CT scanner to give you accurate 3D images of the area, but that might not be available for you, depending on your location and the available equipment.