Our Services / Colon Cancer Screening

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Colon Cancer Screening services offered in Chesterfield, MO

Even though you can prevent colon cancer with timely screening, it’s still the fourth most common cancer and the second-leading cause of cancer deaths in American adults. The experienced physicians at Gateway Gastroenterology in Chesterfield, Missouri, help patients prevent this disease by screening for signs of cancer and removing polyps during a colonoscopy. If you have questions or need to schedule colon cancer screening, call the office or request an appointment online today.

Colon Cancer Screening Q & A

What is colon cancer screening?

Cancer screening refers to a test that detects cancer before you start having symptoms. There are two types of colon cancer screening tests: a stool test and a colonoscopy.

Stool tests detect hidden blood, which is blood in your stool that you can’t see because it’s such a small amount. If you take a stool test and it’s positive for blood, you still need to have a colonoscopy.

A colonoscopy allows your physician to prevent and treat cancer by visually examining your rectum and large intestine.

When should I get colon cancer screening?

The American Cancer Society (ACS) strongly recommends that everyone 45 or older have colon cancer screening if they haven’t already had a colonoscopy. 

The ACS also recommends having your first screening at age 45. If you have a high risk of developing colon cancer, you may need to schedule your first screening at an earlier age.

Gateway Gastroenterology provides colon cancer screening for both high risk and normal risk patients.

What increases my risk of developing colon cancer?

Most colon cancers begin as benign (noncancerous) polyps that grow on the inner lining of your colon. Over time, these polyps can turn into cancer, a problem you’re more likely to develop if you have any of these risk factors:

  • Being African American and 45 or older
  • Being 45 or older
  • Having a family history of colon cancer
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Smoking cigarettes
  • Overconsuming alcohol
  • Eating too much red or processed meats

If you have any questions about your risk of developing colon cancer, or you’d like to have a risk assessment, schedule an appointment at Gateway Gastroenterology.

What happens during a colonoscopy?

A colonoscopy is the gold standard for colon cancer screening because it allows your physician to find and remove polyps before they have time to turn cancerous. Your colonoscopy can also cure cancer by removing polyps in the early stages of colon cancer.

During a colonoscopy, your physician at Gateway Gastroenterology guides a long, flexible tube through your rectum and colon (large intestine).

This tube, called a colonoscope, contains lighting and a video camera that allows your physician to visually examine the inner wall of the colon. If they find a polyp, they remove it by inserting tools through the scope.

If you need to schedule a colonoscopy, call Gateway Gastroenterology or request an appointment online today.