Colon cancer screening can reduce your risk of getting colon cancer — and it could save your life. At Newtown Gastroenterology, the knowledgeable team of board-certified gastroenterologists are certified to perform office-based colonoscopies by the American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities, Inc. (AAAASF). The team follows the latest guidelines for colon cancer screening and meets the highest safety standards in their four New York City offices in Elmhurst and Flushing in Queens, Sunset Park in Brooklyn, and Chinatown in Manhattan. Call the nearest office or book your appointment online now.
Colon cancer screening refers to a group of tests and procedures that check for early indicators of colon and rectal cancer. Outside of skin cancers, colon cancer is the third-most common kind of cancer affecting men and women today. Unfortunately, it’s also growing more common, especially in younger people under 55.
Colon cancer screening allows for an early diagnosis and immediate treatment, so it can save your life.
Colon cancer screening can take different paths based on your needs and risk factors. The American College of Gastroenterology (ACOG) recommends two colon cancer screening tests as primary screening methods, including:
FIT is a stool test. This test checks for blood in your stool that’s invisible to the naked eye, which can be an early indicator of colon cancer. ACOG recommends FIT tests once a year.
Colonoscopy is a procedure using a thin tube with a built-in camera to examine the colon and rectum. During this exam, the Newtown Gastroenterology team can detect unhealthy changes in these areas, such as swelling, inflammation, polyps, and cancer.
Most polyps aren’t harmful but can sometimes become colon cancer later. So, if the team discovers polyps during your colonoscopy, they typically use special tools to remove them immediately. They can test the polyps in a lab setting after your colonoscopy and may also take other small tissue samples for cancer testing (biopsy).
Colonoscopy is an outpatient procedure performed at one of the three Newtown Gastroenterology offices in New York. ACOG recommends a colonoscopy every 10 years.
While FIT and colonoscopy are the preferred screening methods, there are alternatives if you’re unwilling or unable to undergo these tests. Other options include multitarget stool DNA tests every three years, flexible sigmoidoscopy every 5-10 years, computed tomography (CT) colonography every five years, or colon capsule endoscopy every five years.
The latest guidelines say that 45 is the new 50 — so, most people need to start colon cancer screening at 45 and continue at the recommended intervals until age 75. After that, you’ll discuss your risks and the potential benefits of continuing colon cancer screening with the Newtown Gastroenterology team.
Due for colon cancer screening? Call Newtown Gastroenterology or book your appointment online today.