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Colon Cancer Screening

Advanced Gastroenterology Associates of SA

Board Certified Gastroenterologist located in San Antonio, TX

Colon cancer screening is a very effective tool that saves thousands of lives each year. Board-certified gastroenterologist Muhammad Naeem, MD, offers colonoscopy screening and genetic counseling for colon cancer at Advanced Gastroenterology Associates of SA in San Antonio, Texas. The practice can diagnose and triage patients for state-of-the-art treatments and maintain long-term surveillance. They're affiliated with the best cancer institutes in the world, including MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas, the Clinical and Translational Research Center in Buffalo, New York, and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York. Call Advanced Gastroenterology Associates of SA today or fill in the online booking form.

Colon Cancer Screening Q & A

Why is colon cancer screening important?

How is this for importance? Colon cancer screening could save your life. Colon cancer is preventable if you find the precancerous polyps that cause the condition early enough. It's also highly treatable in the early stages, and the five-year survival rates in people with colon cancer are significantly higher for those who receive an early diagnosis.

Despite these facts, for every 37 new colorectal cancer cases reported in 2017, 14 of these patients died. Colorectal cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer-related deaths in the United States. In most cases, these deaths could have been prevented if the victims had undergone colon cancer screening.

What causes colon cancer?

One of the main risk factors that makes you more likely to develop colon cancer is having a family history of the disease. The Advanced Gastroenterology Associates of SA team offers genetic counseling for familial and genetic polyposis syndromes, which are the conditions you might inherit that could lead to colorectal cancer.

Your lifestyle also plays a significant part in your risk of developing colon cancer. Your risk increases if you:

  • Are overweight or obese
  • Smoke
  • Drink heavily
  • Don't get much exercise
  • Have a low-fiber diet
  • Eat a lot of animal fats
  • Don't eat enough fresh fruit and vegetables

If you're at high risk of developing colon cancer, you should be having regular colon cancer screenings at Advanced Gastroenterology Associates of SA from the age of 40 or even earlier. If your risk factors are lower, you should have a colon cancer screening at 50, 60, 70, and 80 years old.

What does colon cancer screening involve?

Colon cancer screening includes a colonoscopy. In this exam, your provider at Advanced Gastroenterology Associates of SA inserts a device called a colonoscope along your rectum and passes it into your colon.

The colonoscope has a camera on the end that sends back images as it goes through the colorectal area. Your provider views the images on a monitor in the exam room. They're looking for any polyps — small growths that are mostly benign.

When a polyp mutates into a malignancy, however, you can develop colorectal cancer. During a colonoscopy, your provider can identify any polyps and remove them before they get a chance to mutate.

A colonoscopy takes around 30 minutes. Your provider discusses the results with you right away in most cases. Sometimes they might need to take a biopsy — a small sample of tissue for analysis. The biopsy results might take a little longer to come through.

To find out more about colon cancer screening and genetic testing or to schedule a consultation, call Advanced Gastroenterology Associates of SA today or book online.