Colon cancer is slightly different than most other types of cancer insofar as how it develops. It tends to begin from a benign accumulation of cells in your colon (large intestine) known as a polyp. Sometimes, polyps become cancerous.
Amazingly, this potentially serious and aggressive cancer is treatable during the screening itself. That’s because any and all polyps are removed by the gastroenterologist during a routine colonoscopy. Let’s talk about this outstanding and relatively simple way to prevent colon cancer, and where you can go in the Sarasota area to have this comprehensive screening procedure.
How Does a Colonoscopy Work?
A colonoscopy is a screening test that consists of your gastroenterologist inserting a lengthy, flexible tube with a tiny video camera function at the end of it into your rectum and through your colon. You will be placed under mild sedation so you will be asleep during the procedure, which usually lasts about a half-hour.
Then, the doctor will look at your colon on a monitor real-time as the tube goes through your colon. The physician will look for polyps and signs of abnormalities, and the doctor will remove any polyp that is found. The size of each polyp, and the number of polyps found (if any), are documented for future reference.
If the gastroenterologist finds abnormal tissue during your colon cancer screening, a biopsy may be performed to further evaluate it. It may indicate colorectal cancer, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, diverticulitis, anemia, or other issues.
Benefits of Colon Cancer Detection
For most people, colon cancer is very treatable if it is found in its early stages, when it is still localized within the colon. If it begins to spread outside of the inner colon, your chances of survival begin to decrease significantly – depending on how far it has metastasized and to where.
Early detection via your colon cancer screening means that you may never need colon cancer treatment. Having a colonoscopy is generally recommended for men and women starting at age 50; if you have a first-degree relative (parent or sibling) who has had colon cancer or colorectal cancer, your doctor will probably recommend that you have your first colonoscopy at age 40 or 45.
Depending on whether the gastroenterologist finds any polyps, you will be given a recommendation regarding how long to wait before having your next colonoscopy. If you have a family history of colon cancer and polyps were found, you may be asked to come back for another one in another 6 months. If you do not have colorectal cancer in your family and you have no polyps or just a couple small polyps, you may be asked to wait 2 or 5 years before having another one.
Your gastroenterologist will give you good advice, so be sure to follow their recommendation.
Gastroenterologist for Your Colonoscopy in Sarasota, FL
Our comprehensive clinic has specialists in many areas of medicine, including ENTs (ear, nose, and throat doctors, or otorhinolaryngologists), internal medicine practitioners, urologists, gastroenterologists, and more. Our dedicated and experienced medical practitioners are well-known in the Bradenton, Sarasota, and Manatee area for outstanding patient care.
The gastroenterologists on our team will take the time to thoroughly evaluate your health condition, interpret the data accurately, and work with you if treatment is necessary for your particular issue. Intercoastal Medical Group gastroenterologists have offices in Sarasota, at the Cattleridge Medical Building, 3333 Cattlemen Road, Sarasota, FL 34232; (941)342-8892 and in Lakewood Ranch at 11715 Rangeland Parkway, Bradenton, FL 34211; (941)538-0092.
If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment with one of our skilled doctors here at Intercoastal Medical Group, contact us today by calling the location near you or fill out our online scheduling form now. We look forward to being your partner in health!