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Colon Cancer Screening
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The importance of detecting colon polyps and cancers early with quality screening services

Cancers of the colon and rectum are prevalent among men and women in the United States. Fortunately, Triborough GI serves New York City area residents in Brooklyn, the Bronx, Bushwick, and Staten Island with a range of trusted screening options. Screening is essential for a long lifetime of good health. 

There are several facts associated with colorectal cancer that underscore the importance of routine examinations conducted by one of our seven board-certified gastroenterologists:

  • Polyps are common. While most are benign, they can turn into cancers if they are not removed and treated properly and promptly. 
  • These polyps are often “silent” or asymptomatic. You may think you are perfectly healthy because you “feel fine.” Yet, precancerous polyps may be present that can be removed via colonoscopy.
  • By the time symptoms such as pain and bleeding are present, the cancer may have already progressed to a more advanced stage. 
  • Treatment options are more limited at an advanced stage. 
  • Early detection of anomalies helps support a broader range of therapies, a higher incidence of successful treatment of the cancer, and longer survival rates. 

Generally, it is recommended that individuals with an average risk of developing colorectal cancer begin annual screenings at age 45. For individuals with a higher risk of developing these cancers, it is advised to screen annually starting at the age of 40 – or ten years before the youngest member of your family was diagnosed with cancer/polyps (whichever comes first). 

Aside from family history, risk factors for these cancers include: 

  • IBD (inflammatory bowel disease) including Crohn’s disease and Ulcerative colitis
  • Previous history of radiation therapy to the abdominal region
  • Certain diseases such as cystic fibrosis and acromegaly

Options to check for cancers and other anomalies, and to also remove tissue for biopsy and treatment as needed, include: 

  • Colonoscopy – Gold standard for colorectal cancer screening. Involves the insertion of a long, flexible, and thin tube equipped with a tiny camera and tools to view the colon and rectum for polyps and cancers and to biopsy or perform other minor non-surgical procedures
  • Flexible sigmoidoscopy – Or the insertion of a small, thin, and flexible sigmoidoscope to check the rectum and the end of the colon nearest to the rectum and anus for polyps and cancers 
  • Fecal Immunochemical Test – FIT involves using a special kit to collect a small stool sample from the comfort of home; it may be appropriate to find hidden, invisible blood in the stool and is followed with a colonoscopy (if the results are positive)
  • Cologuard® — A “by prescription” home stool test to identify abnormal parts of cells from colon cancers/polyps that are not visible to the human eye
  • Computed tomographic colonography – This “CT” test involves using a special machine to take pictures of the colon and rectum and may be appropriate if a colonoscopy fails to see the whole colon due to anatomical or other reasons 

Do not wait for dark blood in the stool, frequent abdominal cramping and pain, and other concerning changes to arise before contacting us. Call Triborough GI in Brooklyn, NY, at (718) 332-0600. Or schedule an appointment at one of our three other locations in Bushwick – (718) 821-0643, Staten Island – (718) 987-1700, or the Bronx – (718) 292-3822.

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