Articles Colon Cancer

Summary: Colonoscopy procedures help discover and inhibit colorectal cancer. Learn when a diagnostic vs. screening colonoscopy might be the recommended option.

Colon cancer is a condition that affects the health of millions of people on an annual basis. In cases where it's found in the early stages, colon and rectal cancer can often be treated successfully, offering a high rate of survivability. Regular tests for colorectal cancer allow medical specialists to screen for precancerous or suspicious tissues in the large intestine (colon) and rectum and monitor for any further issues if a patient's risk of developing the disease is high.

While the majority of people have an idea of what a colonoscopy is, a smaller percentage understand the difference between a screening colonoscopy vs. a diagnostic colonoscopy. At GI Associates & Endoscopy Center, our experienced gastroenterologists frequently complete diagnostic and screening colonoscopies for Jackson, MS patients. Read on to discover more about these distinct types of colonoscopy procedures, when they might be necessary, and how they may help maintain your digestive and general health.

Who is a candidate for a screening colonoscopy?

Our gastrointestinal physicians at GI Associates & Endoscopy Center often recommend a screening colonoscopy to check for tissue irregularities in the colon or rectum, polyps (growths), or other signs that colorectal cancer is likely to occur. A screening colonoscopy, also called a preventive colonoscopy, is typically recommended on a ten-year basis for those age 45 and over who have no symptoms and who carry an average risk of developing colon or rectal cancer. These screenings also establish fundamental data to which subsequent colonoscopy results can be compared.

Typical candidates for a screening colonoscopy exam commonly include those who exhibit:

  • No previous or present GI health diagnoses
  • No indications of GI conditions
  • No family history of colorectal cancer
  • No personal history of colorectal cancer
  • No previous growths or other abnormalities in the colon
  • What are diagnostic colonoscopies?

Should any evidence of malignant or premalignant tissues be discovered, our GI specialists in Jackson, MS will often recommend a diagnostic colonoscopy exam. Such indications might involve having a history of concerns (like colon polyps) or receiving a positive noninvasive colon cancer screening, such as Cologuard®, a home-based testing option. Diagnostic colonoscopies, also known as surveillance or follow-up colonoscopy tests, vary from screening colonoscopies given that such procedures are performed when there is a greater probability that cancer could develop or when there are signs that colon cancer may be present.

Ideal candidates for a surveillance colonoscopy are often patients with:

  • A history of colon polyps or other tissue irregularities
  • A history of gastrointestinal problems
  • Positive colon cancer screening outcomes
  • A personal history of colorectal cancer
  • Past or present gastrointestinal symptoms

What are other variations between diagnostic and screening colonoscopies?

Colonoscopy tests are incredibly critical for identifying and protecting against the development of colorectal cancer. While a preventive colonoscopy and a surveillance colonoscopy are often carried out in a similar fashion, these procedures are conducted for different reasons. Insurance benefits for screening vs. diagnostic colonoscopy procedures commonly vary. As such, it's important to understand your insurance policy and talk with your representative to review your individual plan and coverage amounts for colonoscopy exams.

Talk with a Jackson, MS colonoscopy doctor near you

Having colonoscopy exams as suggested by a gastrointestinal doctor is crucial to preserving your colorectal health and overall wellness. Our colonoscopy doctors in Jackson, MS offer a patient-centric method of care and partner one-on-one with each person to help make certain their unique digestive health needs are addressed. Talk to our friendly staff today to discover more or to set up a consultation for a colonoscopy at GI Associates & Endoscopy Center.

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