Colon Cancer Screening


You should have a colonoscopy at intervals suggested to you by your gastroenterologist and always pay attention to factors that may put you at risk. Remember, this list below points out common risk factors but you should talk with a gastroenterologist at the Digestive Health Center PA, to find out if you are at risk.Take the worry out of colon cancer. Let Digestive Health Center PA, see if you are at risk.   

Men tend to develop more polyps than women and there is a higher risk of those polyps developing into colorectal cancer. Having a family history of polyps in the colon also put you at a higher risk. Your risk increases if you have an inflammatory bowel disease like ulcerative colitis, and if your diet is high in fat and low in fiber, or high in smoked and salt or nitrite-cured foods. In addition, heavy drinkers seem to be more at risk and this risk increases if you are a smoker as well. In fact, smoking increases the risk of various gastrointestinal cancers including stomach Colorectal cancer is more common in men and women over the age of 40 and that risk doubles after you reach 50. cancer and pancreatic cancer and smokeless tobacco increases the risk of cancer of the mouth, throat and esophagus.

A polyp is an abnormal growth that forms on the inner walls of the colon and that sticks out into the colon passageway. They can range in size and quantity and can grow anywhere in the colon. The most common place for polyps to grow is the lower part of the colon. If there is a polyp found and it needs to be removed, it will be done during outpatient surgery. Most of the polyps found are not cancerous, however they may contain cancerous cells so it is best to have these removed if your gastroenterologist thinks it is necessary. Polyp removal is an important tool in preventing colon cancer.When you have a colonoscopy done, or any other colon cancer screening test, the gastroenterologist looks for polyps. 

There are four main kinds of colon cancer screening tests:

  • Digital rectal exam should be done every year after the age of 40.

  • Stool blood test should be done every year after the age of 40.

  • Proctosigmoidoscopy should be done every year.

  • Colonoscopy when your gastroenterologist recommends or at least by the age of 50.

The colonoscopy and sigmoidoscopy are both used to diagnose and treat various gastrointestinal diseases including polyps and colon cancer. These screenings also help to evaluate other problems including: bleeding, long-lasting diarrhea, other gastrointestinal discomforts and will help your gastroenterologist find the best solution for you. Though there may be some discomfort, these screenings very rarely cause any pain. Your gastroenterologist will make sure all of your questions are answered before the screening and will instruct you on what to eat and drink before and after the screening.


Pancreatic cancer is another gastrointestinal cancer. Early detection is necessary for the best treatment outcome and the treatment options range from surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, or medication. Gastrointestinal research specialists are making progress in understanding more about pancreatic cancer and how to treat it. The symptoms of pancreatic cancer mimic those of other illnesses making it hard to detect but research has shown that chronic alcoholism and smoking can potentially lead to pancreatic cancer. The best advice is to make an appointment with Digestive Health Center PA, to see if you are at risk for pancreatitis or pancreatic cancer or if you are experiencing other gastrointestinal problems.