A colonoscopy is important because it is the only way to know if you have rectal cancer.
There are cases on record where people have rectal cancer, not had a colonoscopy, and lost their lives because the cancer was not detected on time.
If you are deemed to be at risk for cancer or are continuing to have symptoms, it is important to have a colonoscopy.
The American Cancer Society recommends that people at average risk for colorectal cancer should talk to their doctor about whether to discuss getting colorectal cancer screening.
There are 4 ways to identify colorectal cancer: colonoscopy, sigmoidoscopy, fecal
This article continues to explain how colorectal cancer is found and treated accordingly.
Things You Should Know About Colonoscopy
As for the gastrointestinal system, it has the unique ability to digest and absorb most of the food we consume.
It is important that as we age, our gastrointestinal system stays healthy and functioning.
Recent statistics show that about one in five patients who have a screening colonoscopy develop a polyp.
They found out this way and they can now take steps to remove them and reduce their risk of colon cancer.
The Risks and Consequences of Colon Cancer
Colon cancer, like the name implies, begins in the colon.
The job of the colon is to absorb all of the water from what you eat and drink so it can move on through to an organ called the rectum where waste matter that cannot be broken down is expelled when you go to the bathroom.
Colon cancer often doesn’t have any symptoms until it has advanced into Stage III or even Stage IV.
If left untreated, this type can spread rapidly throughout your body and cause severe pain and complications or even death.
Colonoscopies, which are performed by gastroenterologists, are the most effective way to identify colorectal cancer early on.
A colonoscopy can help identify and treat cancerous growths, inflammatory bowel disease or other potentially dangerous complications of your digestive system.
The Benefits of Colonoscopy Screening
Medical conditions affect everyone at different levels. Some people recover from a condition quickly, while others need more time.
Colorectal cancer is a condition that affects a person’s bowels and rectum, and it is a typical cancer that can strike anyone.
It can strike at any age, but it mainly affects the older population over the age of 50.
Discussing colon cancer can be difficult. However, colon cancer is a common cancer that touches many lives. For those who undergo a colonoscopy as a screening, it can be a lifesaver.
Explaining Screening Methods for Colorectal Cancer
Colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in the U.S., and much of this has to do with the lack of screening methods.
The recommended screening methods for colorectal cancer include a fecal test, a colonoscopy, a CT scan, and a sigmoidoscopy.
Fecal tests – Fecal tests can monitor your blood’s proteins, which can be an early warning sign for colon cancer.
Colonoscopy – Colonoscopy is a minimally invasive procedure that provides a clear view of the entire colon and detects early signs of colon cancer.
CT Scan – Computed tomography (CT) scan is a useful diagnostic tool for detecting diseases and injuries. It uses a series of X-rays and a computer to produce a 3D image of soft tissues and bones. CT is a painless, noninvasive way for your healthcare provider to diagnose conditions. You may have a CT scan at a hospital or imaging center.
Sigmoidoscopy – Flexible sigmoidoscopy is a procedure in which a trained medical professional uses a flexible, narrow tube with a light and tiny camera on one end, called a sigmoidoscope or scope, to look inside your rectum and lower colon, also called the sigmoid colon and descending colon. Flexible sigmoidoscopy can show irritated or swollen tissue, ulcers, polyps, and cancer.
The Technology Behind Colonoscopy Screening
Colonoscopies are a routine screening procedure that detect colon cancer and other potential problems of the colon that may have been hidden or could have progressed to a point of being life-threatening.
Colonoscopies can also discover other diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease, diverticulitis, and polyps.
Colonoscopies detect abnormal or cancerous growths of the colon or rectum, called polyps.
Polyps are growths of excess tissue that protrude from the colon wall. They can be either benign growths that develop from a person’s colon tissue, or a type of abnormal growth that may include cancerous cells.
The Components of a Colonoscope
The Colonoscopy has been a key screening tool for colorectal cancer for decades.
A colonoscopy is a diagnostic test that a physician performs to see a patient’s large intestine.
The colonoscopy is a medical procedure that allows a physician to diagnose and treat a patient’s colon and rectum.
There are a number of components to a colonoscopy.
A colonoscopy may be performed as an outpatient procedure, either as the primary screening for colorectal cancer or as a follow-up screening after a polyp or other abnormality has been detected on a previous test.
The procedure typically takes place in the physician’s office and is performed under sedation, and patients can expect to be discharged home.
The Procedure for a Colonoscopy Screening
Before colonoscopy, your colon must be completely cleaned out so that the doctor can see any abnormal areas.
Without proper preparation the colonoscopy will not be successful and may have to be repeated.
To clean the colon, you will need to follow the prescribed diet and take a strong laxative to empty your bowels.
Your doctor’s office will provide specific instructions about how you should prepare for colonoscopy.
Be sure to read these instructions ahead of time so you will be prepared for the prep. If you have questions, contact the doctor in advance.
You will need to avoid solid food for at least one day before the test. You should also drink plenty of fluids on the day before the test.
You can drink clear liquids up to several hours before your procedure, including water, clear juice (apple, grape), Energade or similar alternative, clear soup (beef, chicken, or vegetable), coffee or tea (without milk) or jelly (avoid red jelly).
The day or night before the colonoscopy, you will take a laxative. It consists of a powder that is mixed with water.
The most common laxative treatment is called “Klean-Prep”. You can add some lemon squash to hide the unpleasant taste. Refrigerating the solution can make it easier to drink.
Drinking this solution may be the most unpleasant part of the exam. You will begin to have watery diarrhea within a short time after drinking the solution.
If you become nauseated or vomit while drinking the solution, call your doctor or nurse for instructions.
Get in Touch with GI Expert Dr. Deetlefs
Dr Deetlefs has admitting rights and performs endoscopies at both Mediclinic Milnerton and Life Vincent Pallotti Hospitals.
To learn more about the complexity of your gut and the opportunity for you to contribute to the scientific pursuit of gastrointestinal knowledge, visit our Cape Town office or visit our website.
We are gastroenterologist experts using patient-focused GI treatment and procedures in Cape Town.
If you haven’t been scheduled for a colonoscopy and want to get one, make an appointment now.
DISCLAIMER: PLEASE READ CAREFULLY
The information on this website is to provide general guidance. In no way does any of the information provided reflect definitive medical advice and self-diagnoses should not be made based on information obtained online. It is important to consult a Gastroenterologist or medical doctor regarding ANY and ALL symptoms or signs including, but not limited to: abdominal pain, haemorrhoids or anal / rectal bleeding as it may a sign of a serious illness or condition. A thorough consultation and examination should ALWAYS be performed for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan. Be sure to call a physician or call our office today and schedule a consultation.
© Dr. Eduan Deetlefs, Registered Gastroenterologist, GI Doc Cape Town
Our website information is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a doctor about your specific condition. Only a trained physician can determine an accurate diagnosis and proper treatment.