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Colon Cancer Screening Specialists

Gotham Gastroenterology -  - Gastroenterology

Gotham Gastroenterology

Gastroenterologists located in Manhattan, New York, and Brooklyn, NY

Colorectal cancer is one of the most common types of cancer and a leading cause of cancer death in the United States. If you're at risk of developing colorectal cancer, it's essential to undergo regular screening at Gotham Gastroenterology to find the disease before it becomes too advanced. At their locations throughout New York City in the Midtown East and Financial District neighborhoods of Manhattan, New York, and Brooklyn Heights, Brooklyn, the Gotham Gastroenterology team provides a range of colorectal cancer screening procedures to suit all patients. Call the office nearest you today to schedule a consultation or book an appointment online.

Colon Cancer Screening Q & A

What is Colorectal Cancer?

Colorectal cancer develops in the last sections of your gastrointestinal tract – your colon (large intestine) and rectum. It starts off as small, benign growths that are mainly harmless; however, in some circumstances, the cells mutate and become cancerous.

Risk factors that increase your likelihood of developing colorectal cancer include:

  • Being over age 50
  • History of ovarian, uterine, or breast cancer
  • Family history of colorectal cancer
  • Having ulcerative colitis
  • Having Crohn's disease

There's growing evidence to suggest that a diet high in red and processed meats and low in whole grains, fruits, and vegetables could increase your risk. Other studies show a link with being overweight or obese, having a sedentary lifestyle, and being a long-term smoker.

What is Colorectal Cancer Screening?

Screening means checking for health problems before you develop symptoms. Like most cancers, colorectal cancer is generally more treatable early on, so the later you start treatment, the lower your chances of survival.

Colorectal cancer screening can detect polyps, nonpolypoid lesions (flat or slightly depressed areas of abnormal cell growth), and other conditions, as well as cancer. Nonpolypoid lesions aren't as common as polyps, but they could be more likely to develop into colorectal cancer.

Finding and removing polyps or other abnormal cells is the most effective way of preventing colorectal cancer.

What does Colorectal Cancer Screening Involve?

There are several options available for colorectal cancer screening:

  • Fecal Occult Blood Test (FOBT): FOBT tests a sample of your stool to look for signs of blood that you might not be able to see with the naked eye.
  • Double-Contrast Barium Enema: For this test, your provider injects a liquid called barium into your rectum and takes X-rays. The barium provides a clear picture of your colon so your provider can identify the location of any polyps.
  • Colonoscopy: A colonoscope is a flexible tube that goes into your rectum and travels around your entire colon. It has a camera on it that sends back images of the lining of your colon, so your provider at Gotham Gastroenterology can check for polyps or other abnormalities. Sigmoidoscopy is similar, but the tube only goes into the final section of your large bowel.
  • Virtual Colonoscopy: A virtual colonoscopy is a noninvasive procedure that uses X-rays and computer technology to create a representation of your colon. It's less uncomfortable than a colonoscopy, but your provider can't remove any polyps they find like they can with a regular colonoscopy. There's also an at-home test you can get called Cologuard®. This involves using a special kit to provide a stool sample that you then send for analysis. Your provider at Gotham Gastroenterology has to prescribe Cologuard for you before you can order a kit.

You should talk to your gastroenterologist about when to begin screening for colorectal cancer, how often you need to be screened, and the benefits and risks of each test. Call Gotham Gastroenterology today for more information or book an appointment online.