Colon Cancer Screening in Ocean Springs, MS

Ready to Consult a GI Physician?

Find a Provider

Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer diagnosis, yet it's highly preventable. The large intestine, comprising the colon and rectum, absorbs water and nutrients from digested food and stores solid waste until it is eliminated.

A colon cancer screening checks for polyps and cancerous growths in the colon and rectum before symptoms appear. Polyps are benign growths that could become cancerous over time. Early detection and removal of these growths can prevent colon cancer and save lives.

Board-certified gastroenterologists at Digestive Health Center are experts in performing colon cancer screenings, which they recommend starting at age 45. Contact your local Digestive Health Center office to book your screening appointment.

What are the benefits of a colon cancer screening?

Routine colon and rectal cancer screenings are vital for your overall and digestive health. There are various screening options, such as stool testing, but a colonoscopy remains the only method for colorectal cancer prevention. The benefits of colorectal cancer screenings are numerous and include:

  • Potentially preventing the development of colon cancer
  • Detecting other gastrointestinal issues, like inflammatory bowel disease
  • Identifying and removing polyps in the colon and rectum
  • Acting as a life-saving examination
  • Detecting colon or rectal cancer early

Colon cancer may not present symptoms until it is advanced. Regular screenings allow your doctor to detect any problems early.

It's essential to consult with your GI doctor about when to start colon cancer screening and which tests to consider. Here are some commonly used tests for colon cancer screening:

  • Colonoscopy: A colonoscope, similar to a sigmoidoscope but longer, is used to examine the entire colon. Inserted through the rectum, it allows the doctor to view the colon on a monitor. It can also facilitate biopsies and polyp removal. Sedation is required, and there is a small risk of bowel tears, bleeding, or infection. This procedure is the only colorectal prevention strategy allowing full polyp removal.
  • Flexible sigmoidoscopy: This test uses a sigmoidoscope, a thin, flexible tube with a camera, to examine the rectum and lower colon. Inserted through the rectum, it allows the doctor to see the inner walls on a monitor. It can also be used for biopsies and polyp removal. However, a full colonoscopy is needed to view the entire colon and remove all polyps. While generally safe, there is a small risk of bowel tear, bleeding, and infection.
  • Fecal tests: These tests use fecal samples and are completely safe. While they may not provide confirmatory results, they can indicate gastrointestinal abnormalities that require further testing. A positive result necessitates a colonoscopy to check for cancerous growths. There are three types of fecal tests:
    • Fecal occult blood tests: Detect hidden blood in the feces through a chemical reaction.
    • Fecal immunochemical tests: Identify hidden blood using an immunochemical reaction with a specific blood protein.
    • Stool DNA tests: Look for abnormal DNA from cancerous growths or polyps in the stool.
  • Virtual colonoscopy: This non-invasive technique uses a CT scanner to take cross-sectional images of the colon. The patient lies on a table, and the scanner captures detailed images. No sedation is needed. If abnormalities are found, a traditional colonoscopy is required to remove polyps or tumors.
  • Double-contrast barium enema: A tube is inserted into the rectum to pump barium sulfate and air into the colon. The barium coats the colon's outer walls, and X-ray images are taken to identify abnormalities. If issues are detected, a colonoscopy is needed for polyp or tumor removal.

These screening options are essential tools in the early detection and prevention of colon cancer.

  • Individuals aged 45 and older
  • Those with a sedentary lifestyle, poor eating habits, and who smoke
  • Individuals with ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease
  • Women with a history of breast, ovarian, or uterine cancer
  • Those who have previously had colon cancer
  • Individuals with close relatives, such as parents, siblings, or children, who have or had colon cancer
  • Those with inherited familial adenomatous polyposis, which causes numerous polyps in the colon and rectum

Early-stage detection and prevention of colon cancer are achievable with regular screenings. If you are over 45 or have additional risk factors for colon cancer, schedule your screening at a Digestive Health Center office near you. This physician-led network of gastroenterologists focuses on patient-first care and utilizes the latest technology for digestive health. Contact a Digestive Health Center near you today for more information about colon cancer screenings.

Find A Provider Find A Location
Why is having colon cancer screenings important?

Colon cancer often develops from abnormal growths in the large intestine (colon) or rectum called polyps. With a colonoscopy exam, these premalignant growths can be removed to help minimize the chance of and potentially prevent colon cancer development. Undergoing regular colorectal cancer screenings can also allow physicians to identify cancer that has already progressed. If colorectal cancer is found in the early stages, it may be simpler to treat.

When should you start having colon cancer screenings?

Individuals who have an average risk for colon cancer should start having periodic colon cancer screenings when they turn 45. Individuals with an increased risk might need earlier screenings. Your GI doctor can help you ascertain at what age you should start having colorectal cancer exams.

How often should I get a screening for colon cancer?

The intervals at which you should schedule colon cancer screenings may vary according to the type of evaluation being conducted. Generally, individuals who are 45 and over should have a colonoscopy every ten years when they carry an average risk of developing colorectal cancer and experience normal colonoscopy results. Patients who have a significantly high risk should undergo colonoscopy screenings a minimum of once every five years. To learn how often you should arrange for screening exams for colorectal cancer, please contact your gastroenterologist.

What can I do to prepare for my colon cancer screening?

The preparatory instructions for a colon cancer screening will vary according to the type of screening you're having. With a colonoscopy exam, certain preparatory instructions will be given to you by your gastroenterology team prior to your scheduled exam to clean out your large intestine. There may be specific instructions to follow in the days leading up to your exam. It is essential to follow your provider's instructions to help ensure they can catch any concerns during your screening for colorectal cancer.

Dr.McKee put a stint in me after my gallbladder was removed. Did a very good job of explaining to me the reasons why it was put in. Go back in a week to get it removed. Have a scheduled colonoscopy for next month with Dr.McKee. He was very comfortable to talk with and the nurse that scheduled all my appointments was very helpful and explained everything to me until I understood everything.

R.R. Google

The whole staff from registering, pre op, procedure, and post op were super friendly and informative about the whole process of the procedure being performed. Excellent customer care!

L.P. Google

Good experience

C.L. Google

Doctor McNair is one of the finest doctor around!! I’m very happy with him the best!!!! Nice crew I’m very lucky to have him thanks Brenda Akins!!!!

B.A. Google

Dr. McNair is by far the best digestive doctor. He is great with explaining and caring for his patients.

S.S. Google


Total Reviews


Average Rating