Colon Cancer Screening
Colon cancer screening comprises a variety of tests utilized to screen an individual for the early detection of colon cancer. It can involve a simple stool test to check for bleeding, called fecal occult blood test (FOBT). At times in individuals with colon cancer, this test alone may be sufficient to raise a suspicion for the diagnosis. However, in general FOBT is not a very sensitive test and cannot be routinely relied upon to make an accurate diagnosis of colon cancer. Recently, a test called Cologuard which combines occult blood as well as genetic mutation of colonic cell in the stool has been developed as a non-invasive screening test for colon cancer.
More commonly, an endoscopic examination of the inner lining of the colon is recommended for colon cancer screening using a colonoscope. In colonoscopy, a flexible tube with CCD camera at the distal end is inserted into the anus and advanced throughout the colon, for a careful visualization of the lining of the large bowel. Most agree that colonoscopy is the gold-standard examination in colon cancer screening LA. On the other hand, sigmoidoscopy is an examination that evaluates only the distal 1/3 of the colon. Since the examination only involves a portion of the colon, it cannot be considered an ideal screening test and thus is only rarely utilized as a screening test for colon cancer.
The most important aspect of screening examination is to have it done early, before the development of symptoms. For colon cancer, this means starting a regular colonoscopy examination starting at the age of 50. If the initial examination is negative, follow-up exam may need to be only performed every 10 years thereafter. On the other hand, those individuals with a family history of colon cancer which implies about 2-3 fold higher risk, the screening Colonoscopy Los Angeles may need to start at the age of 40, with closer follow-up examinations depending on the findings during colonoscopy. In addition, those individuals with prior history of colon cancer or colon polyp should also undergo a regular surveillance examination at a shorter interval.
At the Los Angeles Endoscopy Center, we routinely perform colon cancer screening. Our mission is to help as many individuals obtain screening colonoscopy as possible. To date, we have performed nearly 40,000 colonoscopies since opening our door about 20 years ago. Each and every procedure is performed by a board-certified gastroenterologist to ensure high quality and accuracy of the examination. For those individuals with no medical insurance or high-deductible, a special program is available to permit colon cancer screening examination at an affordable rate.