How Do Home Colorectal Cancer Tests and Colonoscopies Differ?

colorectal cancer screenings

As we become older, it’s critical to maintain our well-being by getting standard health screenings, including a colonoscopy. This simple test can detect colon or rectal cancer as well as help thwart colorectal cancer development. Bu with new changes in technology, people can test themselves at home for colorectal cancer. At Metropolitan Gastroenterology Associates in New Orleans, LA, our GI specialists counsel our patients to help identify colorectal cancer warning signs, as well as undergo routine screenings to preserve their total wellness. However, with the prevalence of at-home screenings growing, it’s crucial to understand the distinction between a home exam and a colonoscopy conducted by a gastroenterologist.

Do I have to check for colorectal cancer?

It’s crucial to take your well-being seriously, and we commend you for being proactive by developing your colon cancer awareness. Colorectal cancer exams are important for all people as they age; however, they’re exceptionally important for persons who have certain risk factors, such as a family history of colon or rectal cancer. Some people decide to obtain an at-home colorectal cancer kit, as they are less invasive and confidential. However, regular colonoscopy screenings at Metropolitan Gastroenterology Associates are more accurate than home exams and highly critical to discover and treat colorectal cancer as soon as possible.

Should you have family members who have had colon cancer, be at least 45 or older, or experience any of the indications below, we ask you to reach out to Metropolitan Gastroenterology Associates to schedule a consultation with a colonoscopy doctor in New Orleans, LA.

Indications of colon cancer commonly include:

  • Long-term cramps, gas, or abdominal pain
  • The sensation that your colon will not totally empty
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Rectal bleeding or bloody stool
  • Variation in bowel habits

Colonoscopy vs. at-home exams for colon and rectal cancer

It’s important in your health quest to understand the distinction between a colonoscopy and an at-home test, as both offer various degrees of information. At Metropolitan Gastroenterology Associates, we urge all patients 45 and older to obtain a colonoscopy approximately every decade to screen for colorectal cancer and other issues. Because of your history or your family’s history, we might implore you to get examined earlier or more often. During a colonoscopy, our GI doctors will look for abnormalities or growths (polyps) in the large intestine (colon) and rectum utilizing a small video camera. If any polyps are identified, we can remove them during the course of your colonoscopy and carry out a biopsy. The complete screening process takes roughly 30 – 60 minutes.

An at-home exam grants an accessible way for people to test for early markers of cancer from the comfort of their private homes. This action is less intrusive and normally only entails sending in a stool sample for review. It can seem like an easy method to keep checking your health and wellness, particularly if colon cancer is prevalent in your family history. Although home colorectal cancer exams may give a particular degree of convenience, it’s crucial to know their limitations with respect to your physical health.

Can I do only home colon cancer exams?

The development of at-home colorectal cancer exams has left some wondering if there's a need to continue having routine colonoscopies when it's possible to perform these easy tests in the comfort of their homes. Although a home exam seems like a convenient method to screen for early signs of colon cancer, it should not replace a colonoscopy. Colonoscopies are a more thorough examination of the colon and rectum executed by one of our New Orleans, LA gastroenterologists who is trained to identify any indicators of a problem that might not be detected with a home stool testing kit.

Obtain a colon and rectal cancer screening in New Orleans, LA

As you get older, we encourage you to take the lead on your health by maintaining routine colon and rectal cancer exams. These cancer tests are vitally essential to maintaining your digestive and general wellness and identifying signs of colon and rectal cancer early. The GI specialists at Metropolitan Gastroenterology Associates are highly skilled at discovering and helping to hinder colon and rectal cancer development. For additional details on colon and rectal cancer, colonoscopies, or home exams, get in touch with our GI office in New Orleans, LA today.