Colon Cancer Screening in New Orleans, LA
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What is a screening for colon cancer?
Colon cancer is often one of the most preventable cancers. The colon and rectum are located in the large intestine, which absorbs water and nutrients from digested food, and contains solid waste before it is expelled from the body.
A colon cancer screening checks for polyps and cancerous growths on the inside wall of the colon and rectum when there aren't any current gastrointestinal problems. A polyp is a noncancerous growth found in the colon. Some of these might become cancer later on. Detecting and removing these polyps and any cancerous tumors may minimize the risk of complications and/or death due to cancer of the colon.
Our board-certified GI specialists frequently perform screenings for colon cancer for New Orleans, LA residents. To request an appointment, contact your nearest Metropolitan Gastroenterology Associates today.
What are the benefits of colon cancer screenings?
Regular screenings for colon cancer are vital to your general and gastrointestinal health. Some of the advantages of screenings for colon cancer include:
- Potentially detect colorectal cancer earlier
- Identify other colon concerns, like inflammatory bowel disease
- Detect and excise abnormal growths in the colon and rectum
- Potentially prevent colon cancer from developing
- Can save your life
Colorectal cancer may not show signs or symptoms until it becomes more advanced. Getting screenings routinely can help diagnose any issues or conditions as soon as possible.
What are the available colon cancer screening options?
People should discuss with their Metropolitan Gastroenterology Associates GI specialist when to go to their colon cancer screening and what tests they should have performed. The following tests may be suggested during a colon cancer screening:
- Flexible sigmoidoscopy: A sigmoidoscopy is used to get a look at the inner rectum and lower colon. A tube about the size of a finger with a camera (sigmoidoscope) will enter your rectum to get images of the inside wall as well as a portion of the colon. It can be used to take a biopsy of the tumor or polyp and extract some polyps. But a colonoscopy needs to be completed to see the entire colon and get rid of all polyps or tumors. This procedure is generally pretty safe but has a minimal chance of bowel tearing, bleeding, and infection.
- Colonoscopy: A colonoscope is like a sigmoidoscope, except it is longer and used to examine the inner wall of the whole colon. The colonoscope is put in through the rectum and the provider can see the images of the entire colon on the computer system. GI tools will be passed through the colonoscope to take the biopsy and extract polyps. A form of sedation is required. There is a slight risk of bowel tears, bleeding, and infection with the procedure.
- Virtual colonoscopy: Virtual colonoscopy is a computed tomography scan of the colon. You will lie on the table where the CT scanner will take cross-section images of your colon. It is a noninvasive technique and doesn't require you to be sedated. If any abnormalities are found, a colonoscopy will need to be performed to remove the tumors or polyps.
- Double-contrast barium enema: A small tube is placed into your rectum and barium sulfate, a white chalky liquid, and air are pumped into your colon. The barium suspension will line the outer walls of the colon. X-rays of the colon will then be taken to showcase any abnormalities on the inner wall of your colon. If any abnormalities are found, a colonoscopy will need to be done to remove the tumors or polyps.
- Fecal test: These are done with a fecal sample and are very safe. Fecal tests may not confirm results but might suggest abnormalities in the GI tract, necessitating more testing. A colonoscopy will need to be performed if positive results are shown, indicating the presence of cancerous growths in the colon.
Our New Orleans, LA gastroenterologists conduct three types of fecal tests:
- Fecal occult blood tests detect blood in your feces not visible to the eye through a chemical reaction.
- Fecal immunochemical tests that detect blood through a certain immunochemical reaction of protein in the blood and can detect hidden blood.
- Stool DNA tests look for certain abnormal/irregular DNA genes in the cells shed from cancerous outgrowth or polyps in the stool sample.
Who might be at risk for colon cancer?
- Individuals who had colon cancer before
- Individuals with an inactive lifestyle, bad eating habits, and who smoke
- Individuals who have inherited familial adenomatous polyposis, a condition where patients develop several polyps in the rectum and colon
- Patients who have close family members like parents, siblings, or children who have or had colon cancer
- People with ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease
- Women with a history of ovarian, uterine, or breast cancer
- People over 45 years old
Request your colon cancer screening today
With routine testing, colorectal cancer is easily detected and prevented in its early stages. If you are 45 or older or if you've had additional conditions that increase your risk of colon cancer, you can request a colon cancer screening. As a physician-led group of gastroenterologists who function with a patient-centered attitude, Metropolitan Gastroenterology Associates employs leading technology to support your digestive health. To learn more about a colon cancer screening in New Orleans, LA, connect with one of our knowledgeable digestive health specialists in your community.
Colon Cancer Screening FAQs
Why are colon cancer screenings important?
Cancer of the colon often begins from abnormal growths in the colon or rectum referred to as polyps. During a colonoscopy exam, these precancerous growths can be removed to help lower the risk of and possibly prevent colorectal cancer development. Routine colorectal cancer screenings can also allow physicians to diagnose cancer that is already present. If colorectal cancer is detected in the early stages, it can be simpler to address.
When should you start scheduling colon cancer screenings?
People with an average risk should start having regular colorectal cancer screenings upon turning 45. Those carrying a higher risk might need to screen even earlier. Your gastrointestinal specialist can help you identify when you should start screenings for colorectal cancer.
How often should I get a colon cancer screening?
The frequency with which individuals should have colon cancer exams may depend on the type of exam being conducted. Generally, those who are 45 years old and over should undergo a colonoscopy screening once every decade when they are of average risk of developing colon cancer and experience colonoscopies with normal results. Patients with a significantly high risk are advised to have colonoscopy screenings a minimum of once every five years. To learn how frequently you should have a colorectal cancer screening, please consult your gastrointestinal provider.
How should I prep for my colon cancer screening?
The preparation process for a colon cancer screening will vary according to the type of screening you will receive. Before a colonoscopy screening, detailed prep instructions will be provided to you by your gastroenterology team before your exam to clear your colon. Your gastroenterologist may also provide specific instructions to follow in the days prior to your screening. It is imperative to comply with your GI provider's instructions to help make sure they can catch any concerns when conducting your colon cancer screening.
The entire staff made sure that I was comfortable throughout the procedure. Dr. Wegmann talked with me before and after and gave me the good news that I had no polyps. My Mother had colon cancer so I'm extra vigilant about having a colonoscopy done every 5 years. I'd rate MGA and Dr. Wegmann very highly.
This Dr. Is awesome. In 2018 I was diagnosed with colon cancer and if it was not for Dr. Reddy going with his gut feeling it probably would have advance, but he was able see it was a early start of the cancer. I do thank him for going with his gut feeling. This Dr. really cares about his patients.
I needed to have my first routine colonoscopy and as you can imagine, I was not looking forward to it. I have heard stories about the prep and procedure and had put it off several times. I finally set the appointment with Dr Mayer and had a great consultation prior to the procedure. He laid out all of the information I needed and we scheduled the procedure. His staff was helpful, attentive, and very professional. All went well according to the plan and I can say I’m all clear until the next routine procedure. Get on it guys. The only way to prevent colon cancer is early detection. Don’t put it off. It was nowhere near as bad as the stories I had heard. Dr Mayer and his team will take good care of you.
Dr.Mayer saved my mom’s life 26 yrs ago and mine as well. We have a family history of colon cancer. My mom had cancer and Dr. Mayer took care of her. No radiation or kemo. Mom is now 75 and going strong. He recommended I get tested early at 28 and I had polyps and caught them before they spreaded and now I’m doing well and get my check ups regular. I thank God for him and his knowledge. He’s like family now and treats you like fam. You couldn’t make a better choice!
Dr. Brenner has been my gastro doctor for 12 years. My dad had Colon Cancer so I’ve been screening since 40. He has excellent bedside manners. When my mom needed one I referred her to him!! He’s the best!