Colorectal cancer is a disease when the abnormal cells of rectum or colon divide uncontrollably, resulting in the formation of a malignant tumor.
When You Should Get A Colorectal Cancer
Doctors say that people at risk of colorectal cancer should get them screened regularly from the age of 50 years. They should get screening till age 75 years and after age 75 it depends on the screening tests taken before, patient’s health, life expectancy, and comorbid conditions. Moreover, people with higher risk should get it because of a long family history of a polyp or colorectal cancer.
Colorectal Cancer Screening Tests
Colon Cancer Screening is the best process of diagnosing people who have no symptoms. There are various tests used to screen colorectal cancer, which is distributed into 2 groups.
Stool-based tests: In this, the stool of the person is checked for any signs of cancer and is less invasive, easy to be done, but the only off beam thing is it has to be done often.
Visual exams: In this test, doctors look at the structure of the colon and rectum to view any abnormal areas. It is done with a scope which a tube-like instrument having a tiny video camera and light, its put into the rectum. If some polyps are found, they are removed during the test. The patient is asked to be on a special diet before the test to clean out your colon with enemas and strong laxatives. If nothing is found in this test, you should worry about getting screened in the next few years.
Each of these tests has different pros and cons, and some of them are better options for people of a different age than others.
If you are planning to get screened with a test other than colonoscopy, that abnormal test should be accompanied by colonoscopy. These tests are also used when people have a digestive disease, bowel issue, any symptoms of colorectal cancer.
It produces cross-sectional images of the colon and rectum so that the doctor can look for any polyps or cancer. It needs bowel prep, but not sedation. In this CT scanner is used to take images of the colon, when the air is pumped into the rectum and colon. If the doctor sees something, the patient needs to be biopsied; this will be followed by colonoscopy again. CT colonography is done after every 5 years.
There is Flexible sigmoidoscopy, which is not widely used for colorectal cancer screening as it looks at certain parts of the colon and rectum instead of the entire length of the colon and rectum. If suspicious areas or polyps are seen, a colonoscopy is used to look at the rest of the colon. Flexible sigmoidoscopy must be done every 5 years at a colonoscopy center.