Colon Cancer Screening in Denver, CO

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Colorectal cancer ranks as the third most commonly diagnosed cancer, yet it remains one of the most preventable. The colon and rectum form the large intestine, which absorbs water and nutrients from digested food and stores solid waste until it leaves the body.

A colon cancer screening involves examining the inner walls of the colon and rectum for polyps and cancerous growths, allowing our team at Denver Digestive Health Specialists to identify signs of cancer even when there are no symptoms present. Polyps are noncancerous growths that may become cancerous over time. Detecting and removing these polyps and malignant tumors early can prevent complications and fatalities from colon cancer.

The board-certified gastroenterologists at Denver Digestive Health Specialists regularly perform colon cancer screenings for Denver, CO individuals and recommend that all patients begin screening at age 45. To schedule a screening, contact our location today.

Routine screenings for colon and rectal cancer provide a crucial foundation for your general and gastrointestinal health. While various screening methods exist, such as stool testing, a colonoscopy is the most effective method for preventing colorectal cancer. Key benefits of these screenings include:

  • Potential to save lives
  • Early detection of colon or rectal cancer
  • Identification and removal of polyps in the colon and rectum
  • Prevention of colon cancer development
  • Detection of other gastrointestinal issues, such as inflammatory bowel disease

Colon cancer may not show symptoms until after it has started to progress, making periodic screenings essential for early detection and treatment.

Before arranging your colon cancer screening, it's important to speak with your GI provider about how often to schedule screenings and which test is suitable for you. The following tests may be used for colon cancer screening:

  • Flexible Sigmoidoscopy: In this test, we use a sigmoidoscope to view the rectum and lower colon. This tube, which is inserted through the rectum, has a camera that sends images to a monitor. It can take biopsies and remove some polyps but does not examine the entire colon. A colonoscopy is needed for a full examination. The risks of this procedure include bowel tears, bleeding, and infection, though these are rare.
  • Colonoscopy: A colonoscope, a flexible tube that is longer than a sigmoidoscope, examines the entire colon. Inserted through the rectum, it transmits images to a monitor. Biopsies and polyps can be removed using special tools. Sedation is required, and risks include bowel tears, bleeding, and infection. This is the only test that is capable of examining and dealing with polyps in the entire colon.
  • Virtual Colonoscopy: A CT scan creates cross-sectional images of the colon. The patient lies on a table, and no sedation is needed. If abnormalities are found, a colonoscopy is necessary to remove polyps or tumors.
  • Double-Contrast Barium Enema: A tube inserted in the rectum pumps barium sulfate and air into the colon. X-ray images reveal abnormalities. A colonoscopy is needed if abnormalities are detected.
  • Fecal Test: These safe tests use fecal samples to indicate potential issues in the gastrointestinal tract. Positive results necessitate a colonoscopy. Types include:
    • Fecal Occult Blood Tests: Detect hidden blood through a chemical reaction.
    • Fecal Immunochemical Tests: Detect hidden blood through a specific protein reaction.
    • Stool DNA Tests: Identify abnormal DNA genes in cells shed from cancerous growths or polyps.
  • Individuals over 45 years of age
  • Those with familial adenomatous polyposis, an inherited condition that causes polyps to form in the colon and rectum
  • Individuals with a history of colon cancer
  • Women with a history of breast, ovarian, or uterine cancer
  • Those with close family members who have or had colon cancer
  • Individuals with ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease
  • Those with a sedentary lifestyle, unhealthy eating habits, or who smoke

Regular screenings are vital for detecting and stopping colon cancer in its early stages. If you are over 45 or have conditions that increase your risk, schedule a screening at Denver Digestive Health Specialists in Denver, CO. As part of the nation's leading physician-led network of gastroenterologists, Denver Digestive Health Specialists employs innovative technology to support digestive health. Contact our team to learn more about colon cancer screenings.

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Why is having colon cancer screenings important?

Colon cancer typically arises from growths in the large intestine (colon) or rectum called polyps. During a colonoscopy screening, these premalignant growths can be excised to help reduce the risk of and potentially even prevent the development of colorectal cancer. Routine screenings for colon cancer can also allow doctors to diagnose cancer that is already present. If colorectal cancer is found early on, it may be simpler to address.

At what age should I begin colon cancer screenings?

Individuals who are at average risk should begin regular screenings for colorectal cancer at 45. Individuals who have a higher risk might require screenings before this age. Your gastrointestinal doctor can help you identify exactly when you should begin your colon cancer exams.

How often should you have a screening for colon cancer?

The timeframes with which you should have colorectal cancer screenings may depend on the type of evaluation being performed. Generally, individuals who are age 45 and over should undergo a colonoscopy exam once every ten years when they carry an average risk of developing colorectal cancer and have colonoscopy results that are within normal limits. Those who carry a significantly high risk are advised to undergo colonoscopy exams at least once every five years. For details on how frequently you should arrange for screening exams for colorectal cancer, please consult your gastroenterologist.

In a matter of a week I was seen for the first time by Dr. Scott and they fit me in for a colonoscopy. I have been so impressed with the staff both in office and at the surgery center. Dr. Scott is so kind and listened to all my fears and concerns with sincere interest. I feel truly cared for at this practice and am looking forward to getting answers and finding solutions together.

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Professional handling of routine colonoscopy exam

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All of the doctors at Denver Digestive are phenomenal- I recommend this group to friends and family. Dr New and Dr Scott are very personable, and you can tell that they care deeply about their patients!

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I haven't even left the building from my first visit yet. That's how eager I am to sing the praises of Dr. Scott. He knew exactly what I was talking about, I feel so heard 😭

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Dr. New and staff we outstanding. So happy to have them

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