March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month
What is Colon Cancer?
Colon cancer, also known as colorectal cancer, begins in the colon or rectum. It often starts as a small growth or polyp on the inner lining of the colon or rectum. Over time, these polyps can grow and become cancerous, spreading to other parts of the body if left untreated. Known as a silent disease, many people with colon cancer experience no symptoms until later stages of the cancer which is why screening can save lives. For those who do experience symptoms, they may include: diarrhea, constipation, blood in stool, fatigue, weight loss, abdominal pain and bloating.
Screening Guidelines for Colorectal Cancer
Regular screening is the key to preventing colorectal cancer. Men and women, 45 to 75 of age, should get screened for colorectal cancer regularly. People at increased or high risk of colorectal cancer may need to start screening earlier and may need to be screened more often.
While there are different methods for colorectal cancer screening, colonoscopy remains the gold standard in care.
DINW Offers CT Colonography
Diagnostic Imaging NW offers a CT Colonography or virtual colonoscopy which is a quick, non-invasive procedure that evaluates the large intestine for cancerous growths or polyps. During the exam, a small tube is inserted a short distance into the rectum to allow for inflation with gas while CT images of the colon and rectum are taken.
The criteria for CT Colonography are the same as that of optical colonoscopy. Currently, due to insurance coverage restrictions, CT Colonography is most often reserved for patients with a prior “incomplete” or “failed” colonoscopy so they can get a complete the screening of the colon.
To learn more about CT Colonography and DINW go here: https://www.dinw.com/services/ct-scan/ct-colonography/
To learn more about the American Cancer Society Guidelines for Colorectal Cancer Screening: https://www.cancer.org/cancer/colon-rectal-cancer/detection-diagnosis-staging/acs-recommendations.html