Colon Cancer Screening & Prevention
At our South Windsor, Connecticut endoscopy center, we specialize in screening for colon and rectal cancer, precancerous polyps, and other diseases utilizing colonoscopy and high-resolution anoscopy (HRA).
What is Colon Cancer?
Dysplasia is a pre-cancerous condition that occurs in the lining of the colon or rectum. The abnormal cells can change into cancer over time. People who have had inflammatory bowel diseases such as ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease for many years are more prone to developing dysplasia.
Colorectal cancer cells present in the colon or rectum destroy healthy tissue and can metastasize, or spread through the body, via the bloodstream or lymphatic system.
Risk Factors for Colon Cancer
There are many risk factors for colon cancer, including a family history of colon cancer or colon polyps, advanced age, type 2 diabetes, and inflammatory conditions that affect the intestines such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.
Lifestyle factors include smoking, heavy drinking, inactivity, obesity, and a diet that includes a lot of red meat and/or processed meats.
Early Detection of Colon Cancer
Screening, such as colonoscopy, is one of the best ways to detect colon cancer at an early stage. Colorectal cancer is the third-leading cause of death from cancer in the US, though the rate of colon cancer has been declining. This is believed to be due to screenings that are able to catch the disease before symptoms are present.
Because it can take as many as 15 years for colon cancer to develop from a polyp, it is highly curable with a five-year survival rate of about 90 percent when detected early with a colonoscopy.
What to Expect During a Colonoscopy
A colonoscopy is an outpatient procedure that uses a scope to take pictures of your colon as well as obtain tissue samples for biopsy to diagnose colon cancer. It is also used to remove polyps, perform other specialized treatments, and determine the root cause of pain or bleeding of the bowels.
The procedure takes less than an hour, during which you will lie down on your left side. After receiving sedation, the camera will be inserted and air is blown into your colon to expand it for a better view. You will need to bring someone with you to drive you home, as you will be sedated during the procedure.
Bowel prep and a clear liquid diet is required for one to two days prior to a colonoscopy, depending on your doctor’s recommendations. Please see our patient instructions for more information on how to prepare for your colonoscopy.
Colon Cancer Screening in South Windsor, CT – No Referral Necessary
Are you at risk for colon cancer? Are you over the age of 50? If so, it is a good idea to get screened. If you do not have a known GI condition, you can schedule a screening colonoscopy at Evergreen Endoscopy Center without a referral from your doctor. For a colon cancer screening with a skilled GI specialist, request an appointment online or call (860) 644-7336 today.