What is Colon Cancer?
According to the American Cancer Society, in the United States, colon cancer is the third leading cause of cancer-related death in women and the second leading cause in men. Colon cancer, or colorectal cancer, occurs in the colon or rectum.
How do you get Colon Cancer?
Colon cancer begins as small polyps (skin tag like growths) in the lining of the colon or rectum. These polyps are usually asymptomatic (no symptoms) until they progress to a later stage. The chance of changing into cancer depends on the type of polyp. The 2 main types of polyps are:
- Adenomatous polyps: Since these polyps sometimes change into cancer, they are classified as a pre-cancerous condition.
- Hyperplastic polyps: These polyps are generally not considered to be pre-cancerous.
When caught early and removed, colon polyps are successfully treated. If they are left undetected and not removed they can develop into colon cancer (which may not be curable).
Early detection and removal of polyps is our best defense against colon cancer.
Colon Cancer Symptoms
Most patients with colon cancer do not experience symptoms in the early stages of the disease. However, when symptoms are present they vary depending on the size and location of the cancer in the colon. The more common symptoms of colon cancer are:
- A change in your bowel habits
- Rectal bleeding
- Abdominal pain
- Unexplained weight loss
Colon Cancer Screening Guidelines
If you or someone you know in the Fort Worth, TX area is experiencing any of these symptoms, please contact your gastroenterologist or our office for colon cancer evaluation. In addition, since colon cancer does not typically present with symptoms in its early stages recommendations are to follow the suggested screening guidelines for colon cancer. The American College of Gastroenterology has established these screening recommendations:
- Begin at age 50 and then repeat every 10 years if no polyps are found
- African Americans should begin at age 45
- Begin at age 40 if you have a family history of colon cancer or polyps
The subsequent colonoscopy frequency will be established by your doctor based on the results of the initial colonoscopy.
Is a Colonoscopy the Best Colon Cancer Screening Test?
Colonoscopy is considered the “gold standard” of all the colon cancer screening methods. This is because a colonoscopy is the only screening test that allows the doctor to both detect and remove polyps in the same procedure. For more information on this procedure, please visit the page I’ve created specifically about colonoscopy.
How much does a Colonoscopy cost in the Fort Worth, TX area?
Like many other medical procedures, the cost of a colonoscopy depends on your particular insurance plan. Due to so many differences in insurance plans and coverage, it is not possible to display a pricing table for colonoscopy. However, I am proud that our endoscopy center (where we perform colonoscopies) has the lowest facility fees in the Fort Worth, TX area, providing significant value and savings for our patients.
Dr. Yepuri recommends contacting your insurance provider directly to get a better understanding of the expenses related to a screening colonoscopy. If you or your insurance provider should need any clarification from our office please contact us at 817-267-8470.
Disclaimer: The information presented on this website is not intended to take the place of your personal physician’s advice and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Discuss this information with your healthcare provider to determine what is right for you. All information is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for specific medical condition