Colon Cancer Diagnosis
Your symptoms may or may not mean colon cancer. Let us help.
Especially if you're over the age of 50, you shouldn't wait for symptoms to occur to begin screenings. Since symptoms usually occur only in more advanced cases, colorectal screenings become critically important. You're likely to hear the following terms as you undergo the screening process:
The DRE is a test your primary care physician will use during a physical. A gloved finger can feel masses or growths, or thickened areas. This is in addition to an external exam of your abdominal area.
Even if your physician finds no signs of colon cancer after a physical exam and DRE, you should still schedule a colonoscopy starting at age 50 (or earlier, if you have certain risk factors). During a colonoscopy, an experienced gastroenterologist will use a scope to inspect the entirety of your colon. No imaging tests provide the same level of detail to identify polyps and cancer. A colonoscopy also allows the removal of tissue for a biopsy, which allows a pathologist to make a definitive cancer diagnosis.
A colonoscopy may indicate that more testing is needed - either with or without a cancer diagnosis. Just because your physician orders additional tests does not mean you have cancer, but you do have a right to understand why you are undergoing specific tests. Different imaging tests provide different information and may help your physician see certain areas more clearly. If you have colon cancer or your physician is concerned that you may have colon cancer, additional tests can determine if cancer cells have spread to surrounding parts of the body, such as the lymph nodes.
You deserve to feel like you are in the right hands for your care, especially when you're being evaluated for something as important as a colon cancer diagnosis. Contact
us with any of your questions and concerns, or to schedule an appointment in one of our greater Dayton offices as soon as possible.