Our Gastroenterology Blog

Posts for: March, 2022

Summary: Understand the difference between colonoscopies and at-home colon cancer tests and why regular screenings are important for protecting your health.

As we age, it's essential to sustain our wellness by receiving routine health exams, such as colon cancer screenings. This simple exam can identify indications of colon and rectal cancer and inhibit colorectal cancer development. With new innovations, however, individuals can test themselves for colorectal cancer from the comfort of their homes. At Hinsdale Gastroenterology Associates, our gastrointestinal (GI) doctors encourage patients to learn about colon cancer warning signs and to keep up with routine exams to maintain their overall health. With the prevalence of home-based testing increasing, it's critical to know the distinctions between an at-home test and a colonoscopy performed by one of our trained GI specialists in Hinsdale, IL.

Do I need to test for colon cancer?

It's essential to look after your health and wellness earnestly, and we applaud you for being proactive by increasing your colorectal cancer awareness. Colorectal cancer tests are crucial for every individual as they advance in years; however, they're particularly essential for people who have certain factors of risk, such as family members who have had colorectal cancer. Some men and women choose to use a home colon and rectal cancer test, as they are less intrusive and more convenient. Still, regular colonoscopy exams at Hinsdale Gastroenterology Associates are more precise than home kits and vitally critical to discover and address colorectal cancer as early as possible.

When you have family members who have had colorectal cancer, are at least 45 or more, or suffer any of the symptoms outlined below, we recommend that you reach out to Hinsdale Gastroenterology Associates to make an appointment with a colonoscopy doctor.

Concerning signals of colorectal cancer include:

  • Shifts in bowel habits
  • Inexplicable weight loss
  • The sense that your bowels won't entirely empty
  • Blood in your stool
  • New abdominal cramps, pain, or gas

Colonoscopy vs. at-home kits for colorectal cancer

It's crucial in your physical health journey to recognize the distinction between a colonoscopy and an at-home test, as both provide certain levels of information. At Hinsdale Gastroenterology Associates, we advise all patients age 45 and over to get a colonoscopy roughly every ten years to screen for colon cancer and further problems. Based on your or your family's history, we may suggest that you get tested sooner or more frequently. While performing a colonoscopy, our GI physicians will look for changes or abnormalities in the colon and rectum with a small camera. If any polyps or suspicious areas are identified, we can extract these during your colonoscopy and conduct a biopsy. The entire exam generally takes between 30 – 60 minutes.

A home test grants a convenient way for people to screen for early signs of colorectal cancer from the comfort of their own homes. This method is less invasive and normally only requires mailing in a stool sample for examination. It can seem like an effortless approach to continue to be on top of your health and wellness, especially if colon and rectal cancer is prevalent in your family. Although at-home colon and rectal cancer screenings may offer a certain level of convenience, it's crucial to understand their limitations with respect to your health.

Should I do only home colorectal cancer kits?

The availability of home colorectal cancer screenings has left some patients speculating if there's a need to continue receiving periodic colonoscopy exams when they can conduct easy exams in the comfort of their homes. Though the at-home exam may seem like a convenient process to screen for early signs of cancer, it should not replace a colonoscopy. Colonoscopy exams are accurate screenings of the large intestine conducted by one of our Hinsdale, IL gastrointestinal specialists who is trained to recognize any markers of a problem that might not be apparent with an at-home stool sample.

Get a colon and rectal cancer exam in Hinsdale, IL

As you advance in years, we ask you to take control of your health by maintaining standard colorectal cancer screenings. These cancer exams are fundamentally important to preserving your intestinal and comprehensive wellness and identifying indicators of colorectal cancer sooner. The board-certified gastroenterologists at Hinsdale Gastroenterology Associates are highly skilled at diagnosing and helping to stop colon cancer. For more details on colorectal cancer, colonoscopies, or home kits, please contact our gastroenterology office in Hinsdale, IL today.

Summary: While you may not look forward to it, a colonoscopy could mean the difference between life and death, as it can detect cancer and other conditions.

We do various tasks on a day-to-day basis to maintain our wellness, like caring for our teeth, eating well, and exercising. But there's one thing that often gets neglected that could actually save our lives — a colonoscopy. This crucial exam can discover and inhibit cancer, inflammatory intestinal issues, and other ailments. At Hinsdale Gastroenterology Associates, we advise having a colon cancer test every decade unless suggested otherwise. Our experienced gastrointestinal (GI) doctors routinely carry out colonoscopies for Hinsdale, IL patients.

Why get a colonoscopy procedure?

A colonoscopy is an examination of the large intestine and rectum that is performed to find variations and/or growths (polyps) that could be or become malignant. To perform this 30 to 60-minute exam, a gastrointestinal specialist will insert a tube with a video camera into the large bowel to search for any signs of colon cancer or other problems. Colonoscopies are frequently recommended as a method to:

  • Detect the cause of gut discomfort, blood in the stool, chronic obstruction or diarrhea, or different issues
  • Look for colorectal cancer
  • Check for polyps (tissue growths that can turn cancerous if not treated)

At Hinsdale Gastroenterology Associates, we typically suggest that you see a colonoscopy doctor at about the age of 45 and return every ten years for routine screenings. However, depending on your exam results or if you have a family history of colon and rectal cancer, we may recommend you get tested at an earlier age and more frequently.

Can I just use a home colorectal cancer kit?

Many men and women wonder why a colonoscopy is required when there are advances in at-home exams. The straightforward answer is our gastrointestinal specialists can obtain a more comprehensive picture of any unusual or precancerous concerns than with a simple stool sample screening. While some men and women choose to complete these home kits, they in no way should replace a colonoscopy screening.

A home kit, for example, might not detect any polyps that have developed in the bowel. They may signal certain markers of cancer, but a colonoscopy can detect signs of cancer much quicker and more precisely than a home kit. Home tests are also not able to detect inflammatory gut issues.

Why are colonoscopies essential?

It's true that colonoscopies can seem intrusive. Nevertheless, the lifesaving effects of this test can significantly override the few minutes of awkwardness it may generate. It's crucial to stress how vital these screenings can be, specifically for patients who have a family history of colorectal cancer. Many individuals with colon or rectal cancer have no symptoms during the initial phases and may be unaware they have the illness.

A few reasons to consider making an appointment for a colonoscopy include:

  • Opposed to popular opinion, the advanced preparation for a colonoscopy is not too uncomfortable.
  • They are prompt and reasonably comfortable.
  • This is the most effective colon cancer test.
  • Though you might feel self-conscious, your GI doctor is not.
  • All in all, a colonoscopy can protect your life.

In addition, a colonoscopy can detect much more than cancer. It can also confirm inflammatory gut issues, such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn's, in addition to diverticulosis. Like colon and rectal cancer, when identified early, these diseases can be addressed and further damage can be avoided.

Make an appointment for a colonoscopy in Hinsdale, IL

Even though you may believe there's no need for a colonoscopy, this screening can preserve your life. A colonoscopy can discover early markers of colorectal cancer, and it can additionally detect Crohn's disease and other illnesses. This routine test might be the determining factor between life and death, as our Hinsdale, IL gastrointestinal specialists are expertly trained to identify initial indicators of cancer and varying issues that might prevent cancer in the coming years. For further information on colonoscopies at Hinsdale Gastroenterology Associates, we encourage you to contact our GI team right away.

Summary: March is designated as Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. Learn five key facts about this deadly but very treatable and preventable illness.

Making up the longest section of the large bowel, the colon plays a necessary role in digestion and your overall health. As food passes through the colon, the last lingering nutrients and water are absorbed, and the waste is then expelled from the body by way of the rectum. Cancer that emerges in the colon or rectum is often classified together as colorectal cancer.

The American Cancer Society calculates that roughly 150,000 original cases of colon and rectal cancer are observed each year. Thankfully, colon and rectal cancer is easily discoverable by a colonoscopy and, when discovered early on, the probability of overcoming it is extremely high. To discover a colonoscopy specialist near you and book a colorectal cancer exam, please contact Hinsdale Gastroenterology Associates.

March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, and our Hinsdale, IL gastrointestinal specialists aim to deliver the key things you need to recognize about colorectal cancer to help keep you and your family well. Keep reading to find out five crucial facts about colorectal cancer.

#1: Colorectal cancer is the second most reason for cancer deaths.

Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths among women and men together. The American Cancer Society estimates that about 52,000 men and women will die from colorectal cancer this year. Thanks in part to regular colorectal cancer screenings and colon cancer awareness nationwide, colon and rectal cancer deaths are decreasing. Regrettably, it is estimated that around one-third of American adults are not current on their standard colonoscopy tests.

#2: Colon and rectal cancer affects men and women evenly.

The American Cancer Society calculates that around 1 in 23 men and 1 in 25 women will develop colorectal cancer at some point in the course of their life. Therefore, gender is not a colon and rectal cancer element of risk; men and women have around an equal risk of being diagnosed with the disease. The colorectal cancer risk factors are:

  • Obesity
  • Excessive alcohol intake
  • Having a family history of colon or rectal cancer
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Being 45 or older
  • Smoking

#3: There might be no indicators of colon or rectal cancer.

According to the Colon Cancer Coalition, six out of every 10 men and women identified with colon cancer are diagnosed with advanced disease, most likely because they did not seek a test until there were signals of a threat. Men and women in the early phases of colorectal cancer might display no symptoms of the disease, and when colon cancer does present indicators, it is frequently highly progressed. Signs and symptoms of colon and rectal cancer may include:

  • Rectal bleeding
  • A change in bathroom habits, like long-term diarrhea or frequent constipation
  • Abdominal pain or discomfort
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Tiredness

If you or a loved one is encountering these serious colon and rectal cancer indicators, get in touch with a GI specialist in Hinsdale, IL and schedule a colonoscopy as soon as feasible. You can connect with a community GI doctor by contacting Hinsdale Gastroenterology Associates.

#4: When identified ahead of time, colorectal cancer is highly treatable.

Colon and rectal polyps can take around 10 – 15 years to progress into cancer. Pre-malignant growths can be removed before they begin to develop into a problem, which makes colon cancer highly preventable compared with different cancers. Patients who are identified with early, localized colon and rectal cancer have a remarkably better survival rate than women and men whose colon or rectal cancer has metastasized. The five-year odds of survival for limited colon cancer are near 90%. When found late, the five-year survival rate drops to under 10%. Please do not wait for signs or symptoms to be examined.

#5: You should begin routine colorectal cancer exams by 45 years of age.

If you are at normal risk for colon cancer, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force encourages you to obtain your first colonoscopy around 45 years old and then once every decade if no irregularities are discovered. Men and women with a higher chance of developing colon cancer should receive periodic colonoscopies once every 3 – 5 years or as recommended by a gastroenterologist. Several home-screening alternatives for colon and rectal cancer screening have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration, but the colonoscopy is still the preferred standard for the identification and avoidance of colon and rectal cancer.

Visit a gastroenterologist in Hinsdale, IL

If you are behind on your routine colon and rectal cancer exams, please reach out to Hinsdale Gastroenterology Associates today. We can put you in touch with a local GI specialist who will prioritize your treatment and concerns. Individuals facing colon cancer and other digestive health issues can put their faith in our physician-led system of GI physicians in Hinsdale, IL. If you would like to learn more about the fight against colorectal cancer and or schedule an appointment for a colonoscopy, get in touch with Hinsdale Gastroenterology Associates today.