Researchers estimated that there are about 148,000 new cases of Colon Cancer Diagnosis every year, with approximately 50,000 annual deaths. As years go by, the number of cases increases unless cooperation among people is established. The detection of colon cancer is usually during its late stage, when colon cancer symptoms are prominently active. When detected at a later stage, the prognosis does not look good. It is then important and encouraged that every individual should undergo colon cancer screening at age 50 and above. Early Colon Cancer Diagnosis leads to prompt and proper colon cancer treatment. This, in turn will influence a better colon cancer prognosis for individuals who have them.
Colon cancer, in its early stages, often does not show any visible signs or symptoms. However, the following symptoms may indicate colon cancer:
- blood in stool
- a change in bowel habits: alternating diarrhea and constipation
- tenderness in the lower abdomen
- abdominal pain
- narrow, thin stools
- intestinal obstruction
- weight loss
- unexplained anemia
Aside from colon cancer symptoms, colon cancer screening tests also helps reveal possibility of Colon Cancer Diagnosis. Some common colon cancer screening tests that a medical practitioner may suggest are:
DIGITAL RECTAL EXAM (DRE) – DRE is part of the routine physical examination where in a healthcare provider inserts a gloved finger to check for abnormal areas in the lower rectum.
FECAL OCCULT BLOOD TEST (FOBT) – this colon cancer screening tests for hidden blood in the stool, which may indicate the presence of cancer.
SIGMOIDOSCOPY – this test examines the lower colon and the rectum using a lighted instrument called sigmoidoscope. The sigmoidoscope is inserted to check for precancerous and cancerous growth in these areas. These growths can then be removed or extracted for biopsy.
COLONOSCOPY – this test uses a lighted instrument called colonoscope to examine the rectum and the entire colon for precancerous and cancerous growth. It examines areas such as the upper colon, which sigmoidoscopy is not able to. If abnormal growth is found, they are removed and are biopsied.
VIRTUAL COLONOSCOPY – also called computerized tomographic colonography, this type of test uses a special X-ray instrument. This produces pictures of the colon and the rectum, and which shows abnormalities such as presence of polyps. Virtual colonoscopy is less invasive than standard colonoscopy, uses less time and causes less discomfort.
Screening for colon cancer is widely recommended and promoted, especially for the elderly. Do not wait for grave colon cancer symptoms to appear before submitting to a medical examination. Early detection of the disease leads to a better colon cancer prognosis. The chance of curability and survival is high, as Colon Cancer treatment modalities are initiated early, removing and killing cancer cells before they spread and affect other body parts.