Schedule your colonoscopy today with Dr. Kevin T Marks to prevent and treat colorectal cancer.
Colorectal cancer is one of the most common cancers affecting Americans. In men, colorectal cancer is the second cause of death from cancer following lung cancer. In women, it is the second cause of death from cancers following breast cancer. It has been estimated that more than 60 percent of deaths from colorectal cancer could be prevented if all eligible people were screened for this disease at appropriate intervals. Unfortunately, early colorectal cancer is usually asymptomatic. At the time patients start having symptoms like abdominal pain, anemia (low blood count), weight loss or changes in bowel habits, the tumor in the colon or rectum is usually large and, in many cases, has already spread to other organs. At this stage the prognosis is usually poor. Screening can detect early cancer and, more importantly, also the pre-cancerous lesions called polyps. Most people are not aware of having polyps. During a colonoscopy – which is currently the best method for screening for colorectal cancer – polyps may be detected and safely removed.
There are many methods which may be used to screen patients for colorectal cancer. These methods include testing stool for occult (hidden) blood, performing barium enema (an x-ray of the colon filled with liquid contrast and air), having a specially designed cat scan of the abdomen (“virtual colonoscopy”), or undergoing a flexible sigmoidoscopy or full colonoscopy. As mentioned above, the best currently available screening procedure is colonoscopy. Colonoscopy is a very sensitive, reliable, and relatively safe procedure. Moreover, colonoscopy is the only screening procedure during which the pre-cancerous polyps and even small cancers may be successfully removed.
Our practice offers a new approach to screening for colorectal cancer called Open Access Colonoscopy, which makes screening colonoscopy much easier and less time consuming. In this program, relatively healthy patients eligible for screening for colorectal cancer may have a colonoscopy performed without prior visit to our clinic. For details concerning our Open Access Colonoscopy program, please click on the link to the Open Access page on this site.
A routine colonoscopy is both a detection tool and treatment tool, all-in-one procedure. Patients often shy away from this procedure because of its relatively uncomfortable preparation the day prior to the procedure, but this preparation and following procedure can save your life if pre-cancerous polyps can be removed.
Interested in getting screened? Visit our Open Access Colonoscopy page to see if you qualify for a colonoscopy, or schedule an appointment with one of our premier gastroenterologists and they will suggest the best course of screening for you.