Colon Cancer Screenings in Austin TX.
What is colon cancer?
Colon cancer is a type of cancer that develops in the large intestine. While colon cancer is more commonly found in older adults, you can develop colon cancer at any age. You may be at greater risk of developing colon cancer if it runs in your family, you have an inflammatory bowel condition, you eat a low-fiber diet, or you don't get enough activity.
When should I start getting screened for colon cancer?
It's generally recommended that you start colon cancer screening at age 50. You may, however, need to start screenings early if you're at risk of colon cancer.
While there are many screening tools available, the experienced gastrointestinal team at Capitol Gastro prefers the colonoscopy for colon cancer screening because it's the most thorough evaluation. However, your specialist may offer other options, such as a stool test, if needed.
During your colonoscopy, your specialist uses a special camera to look for structural changes in the lining of your colon. Colon cancer typically starts as a polyp, which is a growth of extra tissue in the lining of your colon. Most polyps aren't cancerous, but most cases of colon cancer begin as a polyp.
If your specialist at Capitol Gastro finds a polyp during your colonoscopy, it's removed during the test. Your specialist may also remove any suspicious looking tissue and have it tested for abnormalities. Finding colon cancer early improves your outcomes.
Does colon cancer cause symptoms?
In the early stages of colon cancer, you may not experience any symptoms. But as the cancer progresses, you may start to see various signs that may indicate something is amiss. Common signs of colon cancer include:
- Rectal bleeding or blood in your stool
- Change in your usual bowel habits
- Abdominal discomfort, such as bloating or gas
- Feeling like you can't fully empty your bowel
- Unexplained weight loss
You should schedule an appointment with the specialists at Capitol Gastro if you're experiencing symptoms that concern you.
How is colon cancer treated?
Treatment for your colon cancer is individualized based on the stage of your cancer and your overall health. Surgery is generally part of the treatment plan to remove the affected part of your colon. Your specialist may also recommend chemotherapy or radiation.
Colon cancer may be common, but it's one of the most preventable and treatable types of cancer.
To learn more or to schedule your screening, call Capitol Gastro today at (512) 593-6022 or go online to Request an Appointment.