Colon Cancer Screening in Indianapolis, IN

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Colon and rectal cancer are typically one of the more avoidable cancers. The colon and rectum are located in the large intestine, which functions to absorb water and nutrients from digested food, and contains waste before it's discharged from the body.

A colorectal cancer screening is simply checking for polyps and cancerous growths on the inside wall of the rectum and colon when no GI symptoms currently exist. A polyp is a growth that is not cancerous in the colon. Some of these could turn into cancer later on. Detecting and removing these polyps and any cancerous tumors can minimize the risk of difficulties as well as death due to colorectal cancer.

Our experienced gastroenterologists often perform screenings for colon cancer for Indianapolis, IN patients. To book a screening, contact Indianapolis Gastroenterology and Hepatology today.

What are the benefits of a colon cancer screening?

Screening regularly for colorectal cancer is essential for your GI health and overall wellness. Several advantages of screenings for colon cancer involve:

  • Can be life-saving
  • Detect other types of gastrointestinal conditions, like IBD
  • Identify and extract abnormal growths in the rectum and colon
  • Possibly find colon cancer in the earlier stages
  • Potentially lessen the risk of colon cancer

Colon and rectal cancer may not present signs or symptoms until the disease advances. Getting screenings periodically can help diagnose any issues as soon as possible.

Individuals should discuss with their GI physician at Indianapolis Gastroenterology and Hepatology about when to go to the colon cancer screening and what tests are suggested. Any of the following tests could be suggested for a colon cancer screening:

  • Flexible sigmoidoscopy: A sigmoidoscopy will be used to get a look at the inner lower colon and rectum. A finger-sized tube with a camera attached (called a sigmoidoscope) is placed into your rectum so we can take images of the inner wall as well as some of your colon. The sigmoidoscopy might also be used for taking a biopsy of the tumor or polyp and also extracting some polyps. Keep in mind, that a colonoscopy needs to be completed to see all of the colon and extract all tumors and polyps. It is relatively safe but there is a small risk of bowel tearing, bleeding, and infection.
    • Colonoscopy: A colonoscope is like a sigmoidoscope, but it is longer and is used to review the inner wall of the entire colon. The colonoscope is snaked through the rectum and your doctor can see a full view of the colon on our computer system. GI tools will be passed through the colonoscope to take the biopsy and remove polyps. Sedation is applied. There is a slight risk of bowel tears, bleeding, and infection after the procedure.
      • Virtual colonoscopy: This is a computed tomography scan of the colon. The person is asked to lie on the treatment table where the CT scanner will take images of the colon. It is a noninvasive treatment and does not call for any sedation. If we find any abnormalities, a colonoscopy will need to be done to extract the tumors or polyps.
        • Double-contrast barium enema: A little tube is inserted into the rectum and barium sulfate, which is a chalky white liquid, and air will be pumped into your colon. The barium suspension will line the outer walls of your colon. X-rays of your colon will then be taken to reveal abnormalities on the inner wall of the colon. If any abnormalities are found, a colonoscopy will need to be done to extract the polyps or tumors.
          • Fecal test: These are done with a fecal sample and are totally safe. Fecal tests might not give confirmation of, but could suggest, abnormalities in the gastrointestinal tract, necessitating further tests. A colonoscopy needs to be repeated if positive results are shown, indicating the presence of cancerous growths in your colon. Our Indianapolis, IN gastroenterologists conduct three different types of fecal tests:
            • Fecal occult blood tests detect blood in the feces which isn't visible to the eye through a chemical reaction.
            • Stool DNA tests identify specific abnormal DNA genes from the cells shed from cancerous outgrowth or polyps in your stool sample.
            • Fecal immunochemical tests detect blood through a certain immunochemical reaction of protein in the blood and can detect nonvisible blood.
  • Patients with a sedentary lifestyle, bad eating habits, or who smoke
  • Individuals who have immediate family members such as parents, siblings, or children who have or had colon cancer
  • Individuals with ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease
  • People with a history of breast, ovarian, or uterine cancer
  • Individuals 45 and older
  • Patients with familial adenomatous polyposis, a condition where individuals develop many polyps in the colon and rectum
  • Individuals who have had colon cancer previously

With routine testing, colorectal cancer is easily detected and prevented in its early stages. If you are over 45 years old or have had prior conditions that raise your chances of colon cancer, you can schedule your colorectal cancer screening. A physician-led group of GI doctors who work with a patient-centric mindset, Indianapolis Gastroenterology and Hepatology utilizes state-of-the-art technology to maintain digestive health. For more information about receiving a colon cancer screening in Indianapolis, IN, contact our office today.

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Why is screening for colon cancer important?

Cancer of the colon often starts from growths in the large intestine (colon) or rectum called polyps. With a colonoscopy exam, these premalignant growths can be extracted to help lessen the risk of and potentially prevent colon cancer from occurring. Routine screenings for colorectal cancer may also allow doctors to detect cancer that has already progressed. Colon cancer can be easier to treat if caught in the early stages.

At what age should I start having colon cancer screenings?

Individuals who are at average risk for developing this disease should begin periodic colon cancer screenings at age 45. Patients carrying an increased risk may require screenings before this age. Your gastrointestinal doctor can help you identify when you should start having colorectal cancer exams.

How often should you get a colon cancer screening?

The intervals at which you should undergo colon cancer screenings may vary according to the type of exam being conducted. Typically, people who are 45 and older should have a colonoscopy every decade when they are at average risk for colon cancer and have colonoscopy results that are within normal limits. Patients with a significantly high risk should have colonoscopy screenings a minimum of once every five years. For more information on how often you should have screening exams for colorectal cancer, please consult your gastroenterologist.

How can I prepare for a colorectal cancer screening?

The preparation process for a colorectal cancer screening will be based on the type of screening scheduled. For a colonoscopy, specific information on how to prepare will be provided to you by your GI team before the exam to clean out your large intestine (colon). Your GI specialist may also give you certain instructions to follow in the days prior to your colon cancer screening. Following your provider's directions is crucial to help ensure they can identify any concerns during your screening.

This was my first colonoscopy at age 47. I was going to wait until 50 until I had a hospice patient of mine pass from colon cancer at 50 a few months ago. I promised her I would not wait. The entire staff was amazing from the waiting room to recovery and made it clear as to what would be taking place. The anesthesiologist, Dr. Hall prayed with me and Dr. Haynes explained the procedure thoroughly. I highly recommend this group.

A.H. Google

I found Dr. Haynes to be a caring and personable physician. He spent actual time with me discussing my issues, and wasted no time with testing. His care probably saved me from colon cancer . Highly recommend.

J.R. Google

From the moment I walked through the doors at St. Frances and entered the GI office I was warmly greeted by the front desk receptionist. From my admitting nurse, my anestheologist and my post op nurse they were are extremely knowledgeable and friendly. My highest praise goes to Dr. Cheng though. I lost my father to colon cancer in 2017'. He was only 73 and passed 3 months after his colonoscopy which revealed a malignant mass in his lower colon. I was with my father when he had his colonoscopy and the doctor found the mass. I have struggled emotionally ever since. I am 45, having my very first colonoscopy during Covid and my family was not permitted to be in the office. I completely and totally understand but nevertheless it was a hard decision to follow through. Ultimately I proceeded with my procedure and upon my very first encounter with Dr. Cheng he treated me with compassion, sympathy over the untimely passing of my father but most importantly he made sure to reiterate that he was glad I decided to have my colonoscopy as it was a great way to honor my father. He consoled me as I wept and assured me I was in good hands and that they would take great care of me. I can honestly say over my life span I have had several surgeries and procedures but this was by far my best experience and procedure I have ever done. I am so very grateful I decided to keep my appointment and follow through. Hands down I highly recommend Dr. Cheng for not only his knowledge and compassion but for his bedside manner. Since my colonoscopy I have done nothing else but sing his praises as well as the staff at his office! Fantastic experience even though it was 2020' and Covid restrictions were in place. Best of luck to you and your loved ones and I hope your experience was as great as mine!

D.H. Google


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