Colon Cancer Screening

Gastroenterology located in Mesa, AZ

Colon Cancer Screening services offered in Mesa, AZ

Having colon cancer screenings as recommended can cut your risk of colon cancer death in half. At Desert Valley Gastroenterology in Mesa, Arizona, the team of dedicated gastroenterologists provide preventive colon cancer screenings to help save patient lives. Screening is a quick procedure, and the team makes it easy to get prompt appointments. Call the office today.

What is colon cancer screening?

Colon cancer screening refers to tests that look for the early signs of colon cancer. Colon cancer is among the most common non-skin cancers in men and women, but up to 90% of colon cancer deaths are preventable. 

Screening can uncover abnormal cells (polyps) that may become cancer, so your doctor can remove them immediately. 

Who should have colon cancer screening? 

Colon cancer mainly occurs in older adults, but many younger men and women are developing colon cancer today. For that reason, new colon cancer screening guidelines recommend starting screening earlier. 

In general, Desert Valley Gastroenterology recommends colon cancer screening for patients aged 45-75. Low-to-average-risk patients need screening every 10 years, but if you have a higher risk of colon cancer, you may need more frequent or earlier screening. Risk factors include:

  • History of polyps or cancer
  • Close relative with polyps or cancer
  • Family history of Lynch syndrome or familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP)
  • Prior cancer treatment with radiation in the abdomen or pelvic area

If you’re under 45 but have a higher risk of colon cancer, you may need to start screening earlier.

Healthy patients with a low-to-average risk of colon cancer may not need screening beyond age 75. The Desert Valley Gastroenterology team assesses your screening needs based on your health, life expectancy, and prior screening results.

What does colon cancer screening involve?

Stool-based lab tests can check for potential signs of colon cancer. However, those tests aren’t as effective as colonoscopy. They may return false positives or negatives, meaning a stool test can’t provide peace of mind. 

For that reason, Desert Valley Gastroenterology performs the gold standard colon cancer screening test: colonoscopy. During a colonoscopy, the team uses a tiny camera to view the inside of your large intestine. They can find polyps, remove them, and test the removed tissue to check for cancer. 

While not all polyps become cancerous, polyp removal is an effective preventive measure. A colonoscopy only takes around 30 minutes. After a colonoscopy, you’ll relax at home for the rest of the day and can return to work the next morning. 

Colon cancer screening doesn’t take much time, but it can potentially save your life. Call Desert Valley Gastroenterology to schedule your colonoscopy now.