By JP Richardson
So why is colon cancer screening so important? Since the
colon, or large intestine or bowel, includes the final
stage of the digestive tract, it stores food from the
small intestine that is not digestible. This forms
toxins on the colon's walls that can lead to problems,
such as constipation. The toxins can hold parasites that
can cause diseases to form in the body.
Colon cancer is a malignant tumor that forms from the
large intestine's inner wall. The tumor attacks tissue
that is in close proximity, and spread to other parts of
the body. Polyps are benign tumors, which means they do
not contain cancer. They do not threaten life and can
easily be removed. They can become cancerous if not
taken care of in a timely fashion.
One type of colon cancer screening method is fecal
occult blood tests, which are chemical-based and
performed on the stool samples to look for occult blood
- amounts so small they can't be seen by the naked eye
alone. The tests check three different specimens. If the
test is positive, the patient will have a colonoscopy
done to look for abnormalities.
If no abnormalities are found, the next step is an
examination of the stomach and the small intestine to
see if they are possible sources of the bleeding.
There's also a screening called flexible sigmoidoscopy,
which uses a fiber-optic viewing tube that uses light at
its tip. This method looks at the rectum and the portion
of the colon that is closest to the rectum. About half
of the colorectal cancers and polyps are found in close
proximity to the viewing area of the sigmoidoscope.
Modern technology allows for a virtual colonoscopy. This
colon cancer screening procedure uses images of the
colon that are like views collected at a colonoscopy. A
scanner is used to produce two-dimensional images,
instead of getting a direct view through the colonoscope.
Learn about the benefits of doing a colon cleanse by