Colon Cancer Screening Clinic in Oak Park, IL
Diamond Gastroenterology provides professional colon cancer screening options for the diagnosis of cancer! For more information or to schedule an appointment with us, please feel free to give us a call or do so through our website. We serve patients from Oak Park IL, and surrounding areas.
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Colon cancer often develops from precancerous cells, which means that colon cancer screening is an essential exam to have completed as we age for the sake of our long-term health. At Diamond Gastroenterology, we are proud to provide colon cancer screening to our excellent patients in Oak Park, IL, so we can rule out, treat, or nip any precancerous cells in the bud before they progress..
The two main tools used to screen for colon cancer are stool-based tests and visual tests, which are also referred to as structural tests. Stool-based tests examine a patient’s stool (feces) for any sign of cancerous or precancerous cells. In contrast, visual tests enable the practitioner to look inside the entire colon and rectum for polyps and tumors. Some examples of such tests include the following:
Fecal immunochemical test (FIT) – a stool-based test that is used to detect human blood hidden in the stool from the large intestine (colon) and is usually given by the patient’s primary care doctor.
Cologuard® – a stool-based test that detects particular DNA or gene changes that shed into the stool from cancerous and precancerous lesions in the intestines. This test is also usually given by your primary care doctor.
CT colonoscopy – a computerized tomography (CT) scan that can detect polyps in the colon larger than 5mm. While CT colonoscopies are less invasive than traditional colonoscopies, they require the same amount of prep work. They also have increased radiation exposure and lack coverage with most insurance plans.
Colonoscopy – a colonoscopy is a procedure performed under anesthesia to provide a direct visualization of the large intestine (colon) and sometimes the small intestine. The purpose of a colonoscopy is to look for polyps, inflammation, hemorrhoids, and other problems. The test usually takes around 40 minutes.
The primary purpose of a colonoscopy is not to diagnose colon cancer but rather to find and remove any polyps before they become cancerous. In this way, a colonoscopy is primarily performed to prevent colon or colorectal cancer. At the same time, a colonoscopy is still a highly accurate way of detecting colon cancer. With that in mind, your doctor may determine that you require a colonoscopy for any of the following reasons:
– If you are at least 45 years of age, your doctor will likely recommend a colonoscopy to screen for colon cancer, which is repeated every ten years unless polyps are found, in which case subsequent screening will take place sooner
– If you are experiencing signs and symptoms of intestinal issues, such as abdominal pain, chronic constipation or diarrhea, rectal bleeding, and other problems
– If polyps have been detected, your doctor may recommend a colonoscopy to remove them or to look for more.
Before a colonoscopy, your doctor will provide detailed instructions on how to prepare for colonoscopy properly. With that said, the instructions your doctor provides may include any of the following:
– Clear liquids only 24 hours before the procedure, meaning no solid food should be consumed
– At approximately 5:00 PM, take the “bowel prep” medicine that will clean out your colon
– After taking the bowel prep medicine, you may experience mild cramping, diarrhea, and an urgent need to have a bowel movement
– Your stool should look like water or urine after taking the bowel prep medicine
– Nothing after midnight
– Since the procedure will be performed under anesthesia, you will need to have a friend or family with you on the day of the procedure to drive you home, as you will be unable to drive or return to work that day.
You should also check with your doctor or the specialist providing the colonoscopy about how best to prepare for your colonoscopy, as there are different preparation options. If you have any other questions about the above instructions or on how to prepare for a colonoscopy, please feel free to call us. We serve patients from Oak Park IL, River Forest IL, Cicero IL, River Grove IL, Forest Park IL, Berwyn IL, Melrose Park IL, Elmwood Park IL, Chicago IL, La Grange IL, Broadview IL, and surrounding areas.