Dr. Gilberto Jimenez discusses the various screening tests for colorectal cancer
Lewisville, TX – Oct 20, 2018 – Doctors conduct various tests to diagnose colorectal cancer or determine whether it’s spread to the other parts of the body. They also carry out tests to determine the best treatments for the situation. The diagnosis of colorectal cancer depends on several factors including the stage of the cancer. Most patients discover they have colon cancer when it’s too late because this type of cancer does not express symptoms in the early stages.
“Regular screening for colorectal cancer is the only way to identify its presence and stage, especially since colorectal cancer is slow growing and takes years for symptoms to show,” said Dr. Jimenez. “Your doctor can develop apersonalized treatment plan once they know the stage of the cancer.”
Here are some of the available screening tests for colorectal cancer:
• The stool DNA testing– This is a non-invasive test that checks for the presence of colorectal cancer. The test looks for specific genetic changes that can be found in colorectal cancer cells. It also checks for the presence of blood in the stool that may be a sign of cancer. The FDA-approved stool DNA test is known as Cologuard. If the test shows possible cancer, the patient will have to undergo a colonoscopy for confirmation. This test is recommended for people with an average risk for colorectal cancer.
• Colonoscopy – It’s when a flexible, lighted tube with a camera on its end is used to look at the length of the colon and rectum. If polyps are identified, they will be removed during the test. The patient will be given strong laxatives to clean out the colon. Colonoscopy is repeated after ten years.
• Flexible sigmoidoscopy – It is similar to colonoscopy, but it focuses on a particular section of the colon and rectum. If found, polyps will be removed during the test. A colonoscopy will also be performed to check the rest of the colon. Flexible sigmoidoscopy is repeated after every five years.
• Biopsy – A biopsy is the removal of a small tissue to be examined under a microscope. A biopsy is an effective way to make a definite diagnosis of colorectal cancer and can be carried out during a colonoscopy. At times,an ultrasound or CT scan assists in performing a needle biopsy.
• Blood test – Colorectal cancer usually bleeds into the rectum or large intestine causing people to become anemic. A test to confirm the number of red cells in the blood is carried out to confirm if there is bleeding.
“If you have reached 45 years or older, you should consult with your doctor on the best screening method based on your current situation,” said Dr. Jimenez. “Ensure that you talk to your doctor regarding your family medical history because individuals at high risk for colorectal cancer are those with a family history of conditions like inflammatory bowel disease and should start screening before the age of 45.”
About Lewisville/Flower Mound Oncology Group
The Lewisville/Flower Mound Oncology Group has state-of-the-art facilities that offer individualized care to patients throughout North Texas. With a team of expert oncologists and other specialists on staff, the Lewisville/Flower Mound Oncology Group treats a variety of cancers and blood disorders with an eye towards the newest advancements available in diagnostic technology and treatments.
Lewisville/Flower Mound Oncology Group
500 W. Main, Suite 380
Lewisville, Texas 75057