Summary: Understand the difference between at-home colon cancer tests and colonoscopies, and why routine screenings are important for maintaining your health.
As we get older, it’s important to keep up with our physical health by obtaining routine health tests, such as colorectal cancer screenings. These routine exams can identify evidence of colorectal cancer and hinder cancer development. With new breakthroughs in technology, however, people can test themselves for colorectal cancer from the comfort of their homes. At GI Associates & Endoscopy Center in Jackson, MS, our gastroenterologists counsel patients on colon cancer warning signs, and advise them to have routine exams to maintain their overall wellness. Still, with the prevalence of at-home screenings increasing, it’s critical to know the distinction between a home-based test and a colonoscopy performed by a trained GI specialist.
How can I check for colon cancer?
It’s critical to take your wellness seriously, and we commend you for being proactive by advancing your colon cancer awareness. Colon cancer tests are critical for every person as they become older; although, they’re especially critical for individuals who have certain factors of risk, such as a family history of colon and rectal cancer. Some individuals elect to use a home colon and rectal cancer kit, as they are less intrusive and more personal. However, typical colonoscopy tests at GI Associates & Endoscopy Center offer greater accuracy than home screenings and are extremely essential to discover and address colon and rectal cancer as soon as possible.
When you have a family history of colorectal cancer, are turning 45 or over, or experience any of the signs or symptoms documented below, we implore you to talk to GI Associates & Endoscopy Center to book an appointment with a colonoscopy doctor in Jackson, MS.
Common indications of colon and rectal cancer are:
- Persistent cramps, gas, or abdominal pain
- The feeling that your bowel won’t completely empty
- Inexplicable weight loss
- Rectal bleeding or bloody stool
- A shift in bowel habits
Colonoscopies vs. home screenings for colorectal cancer
It’s important in your physical health journey to recognize the distinction between a colonoscopy and a home-based test, as both provide certain degrees of data. At GI Associates & Endoscopy Center, we advise patients age 45 and older to obtain a colonoscopy around every 10 years to check for colon and rectal cancer and additional concerns. Based on your history or your family’s history, we might urge you to get screened sooner or more often. During a colonoscopy, our GI physicians will use a tiny camera to look for polyps (growths) or other areas of concern in the colon and rectum. If any abnormal tissues are identified, we can remove these during your colonoscopy and carry out a biopsy. The entire colonoscopy takes roughly 30 – 60 minutes.
A home exam provides a convenient means for people to look for early markers of colorectal cancer from the luxury of their personal homes. This action is less intrusive and generally only entails sending in a stool sample for review. It can appear to be an easy way to stay on top of your health and well-being, particularly if colon and rectal cancer has been in your family. Although at-home colorectal cancer tests might offer a particular type of convenience, it’s essential to realize their shortcomings when it comes to your health.
Can I do only at-home colon cancer tests?
The availability of at-home colorectal cancer kits has left some people wondering if there's a need to continue getting routine colonoscopy screenings when it's possible to obtain these simple kits in the privacy of their own homes. Though the home exam seems like a simple method to check for early markers of cancer, it cannot replace a colonoscopy. The colonoscopy is a more thorough screening of the colon and rectum executed by one of our Jackson, MS gastrointestinal doctors who is prepared to distinguish any signs of a problem that might not be evident with a home stool specimen.
Schedule a colon and rectal cancer test in Jackson, MS
As you advance in years, we encourage you to take control of your health by keeping up with regular colon and rectal cancer screenings. These cancer exams are vitally important to safeguarding your intestinal and general health and discovering signs of colon or rectal cancer quickly. The experienced gastroenterologists at GI Associates & Endoscopy Center are skilled at diagnosing and helping to prevent colorectal cancer. For additional information on colon or rectal cancer, colonoscopies, or home-based exams, please make an appointment with our gastroenterology team in Jackson, MS today.