Around 90% of colorectal cancers show up in people 50 and older. At Center For Digestive Healing in Cudahy, California, fellowship-trained gastroenterologist Lourdes G. Bahamonde, DO, offers comprehensive colorectal cancer screenings. Dr. Bahamonde offers colonoscopy and flexible sigmoidoscopy to identify colorectal cancer in the earliest stages. Early detection means you can be treated before the disease has a chance to spread to other parts of your body. Book a colorectal cancer screening online or by calling Dr. Bahamonde’s office today.
A colorectal cancer screening is a preventive procedure that helps Dr. Bahamonde identify precancerous and cancerous changes in your colon (large intestine) and rectum. These changes might mean you have colorectal cancer or are at an increased risk of developing the disease.
You need regular colorectal cancer screenings because the disease usually doesn’t cause any symptoms until it’s in an advanced stage. Advanced cancer is more difficult to treat, so identifying it early increases your chances of a full recovery.
Colorectal cancer typically starts out as benign growths (polyps) that form on the lining of your colon or rectum. These polyps can turn cancerous over time, especially if you have risk factors like:
Your risk of developing colon cancer rises as you get older. It most often hits people over 50.
You should start scheduling routine colorectal cancer screenings at age 45. You might need to start your screenings earlier if you have a family history of colorectal cancer or other colorectal cancer risk factors.
The main colorectal cancer screening goal is to detect suspicious polyps that can turn into cancer and remove them. Regular screenings allow Dr. Bahamonde to identify cancer in its earliest stages when treatment is most successful.
Dr. Bahamonde uses several tests to check your colon and rectum for polyps. She can determine which test is right for you based on your medical history.
Testing might involve taking a stool sample to test it for blood or cancer antibodies. Dr. Bahamonde also offers several in-office screenings, including:
A colonoscopy involves inserting a long, thin, lighted tube into your rectum to identify abnormal polyps in your rectum and colon. Dr. Bahamonde can remove polyps during the colonoscopy. The polyps will be sent to a lab for analysis to determine if they are cancerous.
During a flexible sigmoidoscopy, Dr. Bahamonde inserts a thin, flexible tube into your rectum to identify polyps in your rectum and the lower part of your colon.
If your test reveals any abnormal polyps or suspicious tissue, Dr. Bahamonde can remove them during your screening.
Based on the results of your colorectal cancer screening, you might need additional tests or treatment. If your screenings show no signs of cancer, Dr. Bahamonde can determine when you need follow-up screenings. These screenings are generally done every 5-10 years, more often if you have risk factors for colorectal cancer.
If you need to schedule a routine colorectal cancer screening, call Center For Digestive Healing today, or book an appointment online.