When should I get a colon cancer screening?
Colorectal cancer ranks second in mortality from malignant neoplasms. Colon cancer develops from colon polyps. In some cases, it occurs in patients with inflammatory bowel diseases. Colon cancer screenings allow you to detect the illness in the early stages when there are no symptoms. That can increase the chances of successful treatment.
What is a colon cancer screening?
Colorectal cancer diagnosis is a set of measures for the early detection of rectal tumors. The examination shows whether the patient is at risk and whether he needs to undergo in-depth studies or whether it is possible not to do this for some time.
Colon cancer screening: what do I need to know?
Imagine that you don't have a family history of colon cancer and want to stop it from happening. You are recommended to undergo a colonoscopy between 50 and 60.
Another screening method may be an annual stool test for hidden blood, starting from 50 when performing a colonoscopy with positive test results.
You must conduct a regular colonoscopy if you have several blood relatives who have had colon cancer at a young age.
Who needs colon screening test: risk factors
Age is the leading risk factor for developing colorectal cancer in formally healthy people. Following the recommendations of the American Cancer Society, regular CRC screening should begin at the age of 45-50 years. Some people under 45 are also recommended to undergo rectal cancer screening. For example, if:
- there are inflammatory bowel diseases such as ulcerative colitis;
- one of the relatives had colorectal polyps;
- there is a genetic syndrome such as familial adenomatous polyposis or hereditary colorectal cancer.
Risk factors for colon cancer:
- lack of regular physical activity;
- a diet low in fiber;
- alcohol and tobacco consumption.
How the patients are screened?
A special colon cancer screening test can be used for early detection of a tumor, which recognizes an invisible admixture of blood in the stool. The illness can be suspected when the bowel changes (constipation, diarrhea, alternation of constipation with diarrhea, rumbling, and bloating), bleeding from the rectum, abdominal pain, weight loss, anemia, and changing the size or shape of feces. Most of the time, these signs show up when the tumor is already far along.
Options for colon cancer screening also depend on age and gender:
- Sigmoidoscopy. Examine the rectum and sigmoid intestine with a sigmoidoscope - a flexible tube with a lens, flashlight, and tissue removal tool. This instrument is injected through the anus into the intestine. The air is injected to extend it so the doctor can see the organ's surface.
- Blood test for colon cancer. Tumor cells produce cancer markers (proteins present in the blood of cancer patients) into the blood from the moment the neoplasm occurs. Examination of the cancer marker level allows you to suspect the disease in the early stages before the onset of symptoms.
- Colonoscopy screening. A method for visualizing a large area of the colon. It is recommended for men over 50 and women over 55.
- Rectoromanoscopy. Comparative studies on large population groups have shown that a regular colon test can reduce morbidity and mortality after 50 years (from 55 to 64). The study covers only the rectum. In some cases, sections of the sigmoid are examined. It is carried out without using a camera.
- Stool test for colon cancer. Determination of hidden blood in feces. Men and women over 45 can take a stool test every year and every two years from age 55.
- CT colonoscopy. With the help of a CT scanner, many pictures of the colon are taken, which are then collected into a detailed image of it. As with standard options for colon cancer screening, it is necessary to clean the colon thoroughly.
Doctors use a double contrast barium enema for people who can't have a standard colonoscopy type. The patient is given an enema with a barium solution and an injection during the test. Pictures of the colon and rectum are then taken. Barium helps the pictures show the shape of the colon and rectum.
As a rule, the diagnosis is usually confirmed by colonoscopy – a test of the internal lumen of the colon. So, what a screening colonoscopy is?
Colonoscopy: how do they do?
It is a modern diagnostic procedure using a special probe. The colon is examined using a colonoscope, a flexible tube with a lens, a flashlight, and a tissue removal tool. The probe is inserted through the rectum. It is soft and bends easily, so it gently moves without pain.
Colorectal cancer screening involves thoroughly cleansing the entire colon before the examination. A person must follow a specific diet and take measures to cleanse the intestines. Vegetables, nuts, meat, fruits, pastries, and cereals are removed from the menu. Twenty hours before the procedure, you can drink only water and weakly brewed tea.
Best Countries for check for colon cancer
Hospitals abroad have a very developed screening system. Germany, Israel, Spain, Turkey, and Lithuania are the best countries for the colon exam. So why do patients choose hospitals in these countries? There are some advantages:
- high-level professionals;
- lower cost of colon cancer tests than in clinics in the USA or Canada;
- individual approach to each patient;
- modern equipment;
- application of innovative technologies (capsule endoscopy; virtual colonoscopy);
- doctor's recommendations.
The best clinics for colonoscopy screening
Beta Clinic Bonn
Founded mainly for treating neurological diseases, it currently consists of 30 specialized departments, 60 doctors, and 180 medical staff members. Gastroenterology and oncology departments offer the latest methods of treatment and diagnosis. The equipment meets the most modern scientific and medical standards.
This multifunctional clinic in the center of Berlin has modern diagnostic methods for detecting sickness in the early stages. The survival rate of patients with disease detection at an early stage is high. Therefore, the clinic pays great attention to the diagnosis of precancerous conditions, for example, polyps, and their timely removal. In addition, stool tests, endoscopic examinations, and detailed follow-up recommendations for the colorectal cancer screening test are carried out.
Teknon Medical Center Barcelona
One of the leading and most famous hospitals in Spain and the world. The clinic is located on the Mediterranean coast and is famous for its star patients and world-class doctors. The gastroenterology department consists of more than 20 experienced gastroenterologist specialists and seven endoscopic rooms with 15 boxes for each patient's treatment. Doctors pay particular attention to screening for malignant neoplasm of the colon as one of the most common diseases.
Helios Hospital Berlin-Buch
That is one of the centers in the highest provision category. The clinic has more than a century of history, which began with an oncological center. The main achievements of Berlin-Buch are still connected with oncology. The percentage of recoveries in most clinic departments consistently exceeds the national average, and the departments of hematology and neurosurgery are among the best in Europe. In addition to a robust infrastructure, the clinic has a stellar staff of doctors — professors Kievit, Glass, and other world-famous doctors who conduct both practical and scientific activities here. The clinic uses the latest techniques, such as Confucius laser endoscopy (CLE) and minimally invasive colon cancer screening procedures.
Memorial Sisli Hospital Istanbul
Almost two years after its foundation, the accreditation certificate of JCI (United International Commission) became the first hospital in Turkey. The twenty-first in the world to receive this certificate, which is known to be a world-class registered trademark in health care. Provides high-quality medical services in every medical specialty and has a prestigious reputation in cardiology, gastroenterology, cardiovascular surgery, colon examination, organ transplantation, ECO, and genetics.
Park-Clinic Weissensee Berlin
It is a progressive medical institution with the highest standards of medical care. Every year, doctors conduct 4.000 endoscopic examinations of the entire gastrointestinal tract, rectum, bile ducts, and pancreas and tests for colon cancer. Specialists of the Rank-Clinic Weissensee also check the functioning of the gastrointestinal tract with the help of modern high-resolution devices.
Kardiolita Hospital Vilnius
Lithuania's comprehensive multidisciplinary private medical institution offers patients more than 40 diagnostic programs, including gastroenterology. Check-up programs (including colon cancer screening) consider gender, age, the presence of chronic diseases, and risk factors, so the doctor recommends an individual screening program.
AiroMedical and colon cancer screening
AiroMedical gives patients from anywhere in the world a chance to choose a clinic with the best medical program to get the care they need as quickly and comfortably as possible. Our doctors can help patients choose a place to get medical care by giving them professional advice.
Our website has more than 350 clinics in Germany, Israel, Turkey, the Czech Republic, Poland, Lithuania, and Hungary. Before posting on the website, the clinic undergoes a thorough check on the level of equipment, comfort, the number of successful operations, and other indicators. After choosing a medical program, AiroMedical experts will answer how to get tested for colon cancer, will help with obtaining a visa, translate medical documents, flight, and accommodation, communicate with doctors, and control the cost of medical services and daily moments.
To be screened for cancer, the patient goes through the following steps:
- a conversation with our specialist to understand individual needs;
- detailed examination by our doctor of each case;
- select the best clinic, specialist, diagnostic, and treatment programs for each patient to ensure the necessary test for colon cancer.
The choice is based on proven ratings and indicators.
AiroMedical also organizes an online consultation with the necessary specialist. The patient can receive treatment regimens or recommendations without leaving his country. Furthermore, thanks to the electronic document management system, and the transfer of medical documents, foreign doctors can study the results of preliminary studies and make individual recommendations.
Your health is in your hands! If you are 50 or older, colon cancer testing will allow you to avoid more serious health problems in the future and can save your life.
- National Cancer Institute: Colorectal Cancer Screening
- American Cancer Society: When Should You Start Getting Screened for Colorectal Cancer?
- The Washington Post: National task force finalizes recommendation for earlier colorectal cancer screening
- Society of Behavioral Medicine: Screening for colorectal cancer
- National Library of Medicine: Colorectal Cancer Screening Starting at Age 45 Years—Ensuring Benefits Are Realized by All