Depistage cancer colon tests are undertaken to look for precancer or cancer in the colon and rectum, even before the patient notices any symptoms. Colorectal cancer, if detected in its early stages, can be easily treated and is completely curable. This is why it is highly recommended to undertake regular colon cancer screening tests in reputed private gastroscopy clinics for all adults. A colonoscopy exam is something you might be quite familiar with. However, the fact of the matter is that there are different other methods for colorectal cancer screening, and this is exactly what we will be discussing here. So, let’s start.
The different types of cancer colon screening methods
- Colonoscopy: During a colonoscopy, the gastroenterologist in a private gastroscopy clinic will carefully observe the inside of the large intestine, i.e., the colon, and look for possible signs of colon cancer. They often look for polyps, which are abnormal growths that eventually become cancer. The doctor will insert a thin, flexible tube having a camera and light attached on one end, known as a colonoscope, into your rectum, through a colonoscope. If your doctor happens to find any polyps, they will remove them and send them to a lab for further testing. Once the test results are in, it can be found whether the polyp is benign or malignant.
- Computed Tomography (CT) Colonography: CT colonography, a.k.a. virtual colonography, employs CT technology to produce multiple cross-sectional images of the intestinal tract. These images are then transferred into a computer and combined to produce comprehensive images of the entire colon length. The doctor then uses these images to identify abnormal tissues, or polyps, which can be precancerous or cancerous.
The colon is sometimes air inflated to capture minute defects in the wall. This is executed by inserting a small tube into the rectum. Here you should note that this is strictly a diagnostic exam and not a therapeutic one. What that means is that this test can be used to identify lesions such as cancers or polyps but cannot eradicate them. If any abnormal lesions are found, you have to undertake a colonoscopy exam for tissue sampling or removal.
- Flexible sigmoidoscopy: This is typically a limited colonoscopy. In this depistage cancer colon method, the same equipment is employed as with a colonoscopy. The only difference is that here only the colon’s left side is examined. The good thing is that this method carries fewer risks than colonoscopy, is less invasive, and can be undertaken without sedation. And just like a colonoscopy, biopsies or polyp removal can be performed during the exam.
- Stool tests: Stool tests can also be performed to test hidden blood in the stool. This test can only detect the presence of blood but cannot identify which intestinal part is bleeding. Since polyps or colon cancers often bleed, you can undertaker this test to detect a possible problem. Here you should bear in mind that this test cannot be called a replacement for a regular colonoscopy. However, if blood is detected, the doctor might recommend a colonoscopy for further testing.
- Faecal Occult Blood Test (FOBT): This test detects blood in the stool that cannot be seen by mere observation of the sample. To undertake this test, you have to collect a stool sample at home. The sample is then tested in a lab where certain substances are used to change the fecal color and thus detect blood in it. There are mainly two types of fecal occult blood tests:
- Guaiac FOBT: In guaiac FOBT testing, a certain chemical is used to detect the presence of hemoglobin, which is typically a protein found in RBCs, known as heme. If you are advised this test in a private gastroscopy clinic, you will have to follow a specific diet for a few days before the sample collection. This is because certain foods contain heme and can give wrong results.
- Fecal immunochemical test (FIT): FIT testing employs certain proteins, called antibodies, that react with human hemoglobin in the stool. This test does not call for any dietary restrictions. This test only detects the presence of human blood and thus is much more accurate than the Guaiac FOBT test.
The Bottom Line
The type of screening test your doctor will recommend will largely depend on your family and medical history. Each test has its own set of accuracy and risks involved. You will be flabbergasted to know that colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in America, and every year around 45,000 people succumb to this disease. However, the good thing about this terrible disease is that it can be prevented and cured by undertaking depistage cancer colon.
If the thought of colonoscopy prevents you from colon cancer screening, you can always ask your doctor in a private gastroscopy clinic about alternative screening options, as aforementioned. After all, any screening is better than no screening at all. Visit any good private gastroscopyclinic and get yourself screened today.