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What is Colon Cancer?
Colon cancer is a form of cancer that forms in our GI track but it is better known as a preventable cancer. This is because colorectal cancer almost always develops from precancerous polyps (abnormal growths) in the colon or rectum. Screening tests can find precancerous polyps, so that they can be removed before they turn into cancer. Screening tests can also find colorectal cancer early, when treatment works best.
When should people be screened for colon cancer?
- Screening is the process of looking for cancer in people who have no symptoms, so testing should happen before you begin to have issues. If you are age 50 to 75 years old, you should get screened for colorectal cancer.
- If you think you may be at increased risk for colorectal cancer, learn your family health history and ask your doctor if you should begin screening before age 50.
How do you screen for colon cancer?
Several tests can be used to screen for colorectal cancer. These tests can be divided into 2 main groups:
- Stool-based tests: These tests check the stool (feces) for signs of cancer. These tests are less invasive and easier to have done, but they need to be done more often. The test is easy and can be completed at home with a physician’s order. Here’s a sample of the card that we use at our office.
- Visual exams: These tests look at the structure of the colon and rectum for any abnormal areas. This is done either with a scope put into the rectum, or with special imaging (x-ray) tests.
To learn more about Dr. Garce̕s or to set up an appointment, contact North Florida Medical Centers’ location in Cross City, Family Medical Center.
Family Medical Center
412 SW 351 Highway Cross City, Florida