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Doctor insights on: Colorectal Screening Vs Colonoscopy

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Mom is 52. Smokes 2-3 cigs a day. Does she need to get screening colonoscopy even without symptoms? What are chances of colorectal cancer?

Mom is 52. Smokes 2-3 cigs a day. Does she need to get screening colonoscopy even without symptoms? What are chances of colorectal cancer?

Needs colonoscopy: Studies have shown that all normal-risk individuals should have a screening colonoscopy starting at age 50 and repeated at least every 10 years if no polyps are found. All polyps should be removed. If there is a positive family history for colon cancer, screening should start at an earlier age. There is about a 5% lifetime risk of developing colon cancer.

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Dr. Shari Jackson
1 Doctor shared a insight

Screening (Definition)

Examples are: colonoscopy for colon polyp or cancer; mammograms for breast lesions or cancer; psa a blood test that could indicate enlargement of cancerous prostate tissue; blood sugar or hemoglobin a! c for diabetes. Many think that scanning the whole body will pick up a cancer--in all likelihood, it will not. There also is no good blood test, yet, ...Read more


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Mom is smoker (around 2 fags a day). 52 yrs. Is a colonoscopy screening required for all smokers above 50 even without symptoms?

Mom is smoker (around 2 fags a day). 52 yrs. Is a colonoscopy screening required for all smokers above 50 even without symptoms?

Not the smoking: It's the age. All people, non-smokers and smokers, should have colonoscopy initially at age 50 and then every 5 years. Pre-cancerous polyps don't have symptoms. I assume fags=cigarettes

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When should men have their first screening colonoscopy?

When should men have their first screening colonoscopy?

50: You should have it around 50 y/o unless you have a family history of colon cancer then it should be earlier.

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Are there less invasive and less expensive options for preventative screening colonoscopies?

Are there less invasive and less expensive options for preventative screening colonoscopies?

Yes: Double contrast barium enema xray or ct colonography however if some thing is found on either of the above, you will still need a colonoscopy. If either are negative, there is no guarantee that something wasn't missed due to the prep or performance of those studies. Colonoscopy is the gold standard.

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What percentage of colonoscopy screenings end up damaging or perforating the colon? 1/1000? 1/2000?

What percentage of colonoscopy screenings end up damaging or perforating the colon? 1/1000? 1/2000?

Very low: For screening colonoscopies the rate of serious complications is generally less than 0.1%. The rate is higher if polyps are removed and the rate also goes up with age of the patient. The rate is lower for doctors who do a lot of them, ie, gastroenterologists.

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Can you give a list of all cancer screening tests for people who have no present symtoms of cancer, for example, a screening colonoscopy; how often?

Can you give a list of all cancer screening tests for people who have no present symtoms of cancer, for example, a screening colonoscopy; how often?

Only a few exist: Problem: cancer SLOW but usually, except for skin, DETECTED LATE. Thus bigger issue: realize that catching/stopping cancer is a key immune system function (controlled from brain), avoid foods which drive cancer (sugars), stay thin & keep up on science. Proven for men: check skin, mouth, thyroid & lymph nodes for growths, CBC, Electrophoresis, T. Markers, PSA (<1.0 ng/dL) & endoscopy>remove polyps.

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50+ and smoke around 2-3 fags a day. Do I need a colonoscopy screening even if I don't have symptoms?

Yes: Regardless of your smoking history, you should have got your first screening colo as soon as you turned 50. Observational trials suggest that smoking increases the risk of polyps and colon cancer to some degree, (not to mention multiple other cancers and cardiopulmonary issues) so if you want my advise, get rid of those cigarettes for good.

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I am considering a screening sigmoidoscopy over that of a colonoscopy due to more preparation and procedural involvement. No family history. Wise?

Colonoscopy: I would suggest a colonoscopy if you are able, as it is a more complete screening. If normal you will not need another for 10 years. The sigmoidoscopy only looks at the lower portion of your colon.

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Is a nurse anesthetist, to assist GI during a screening colonoscopy, a good choice over an anesthesiologist?

Anesthesiologist: A nurse anesthetist (crna) is a cheaper, less trained alternative to an anesthesiologist. The md is likely the better option. There are always bad mds and there are some phenomenal crnas but your safest bet would typically be the more extensively trained md. That being said, most anesthetics are safe, and you will likely be fine, but colonoscopies have ended in deaths like any other procedure.

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Might it be that a colonoscopy prevents colon cancer, or is it simply a screening tool?

Might it be that a colonoscopy prevents colon cancer, or is it simply a screening tool?

Yes it can: Colonoscopy is done to look for polyp which are precursors of cancer. So if the polyp is removed before it becomes cancerous, then we have prevented development of colon cancer.

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Can I still have a screening colonoscopy (am due now) when I enter the md's office with white coat syndrome?

Sure...: But you won't get a colonoscopy without getting prepped (cleaned out) first. You get sedation before and during the procedure. Your vital signs will be monitored throughout. Your blood pressure should be well controlled in that environment. If your BP is dangerously high, e.g. 200/110, no screening for you that day the BP would be the bigger and more pressing issue.

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If 61 yr m had a -ve whole body pet+ct done for renal mets 1 yr ago, how long we can postpone colonoscopy (first time)screening for colon cancer?

If 61 yr m had a -ve whole body pet+ct done for renal mets 1 yr ago, how long we can postpone colonoscopy (first time)screening for colon cancer?

Let me be: Sure I understand. She had a renal cancer removed, and that was more than a year ago, and pet showed no metastasis. She is asymptomatic and feeling well? There are advisories that colonoscopy should be done once each decade after 50. She would seem eligible for that, but there is no rush.

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Possibility of colorectal cancer in younger people. Which persons should get colonoscopy <50 years?

Possibility of colorectal cancer in younger people. Which persons should get colonoscopy <50 years?

Colonoscopy <50 y o: There are several nationally-recognized colonoscopy screening guidelines. Most agree the following patients under 50 year old should undergo colonoscopy:1) afro-american males at age 45; 2) familial syndromes that predispose to early colon ca (fap, lynch syndromes, etc.); 3) inflammatory bowel of longstanding; 4) history of colon ca or adenomatous polyps at young age; 5) other select settings.

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Can you have colorectal cancer w/o polyps? Can colorectal cancer grow where it cannot be seen by colonoscopy? If yes, How are these diagnosed?

Can you have colorectal cancer w/o polyps? Can colorectal cancer grow where it cannot be seen by colonoscopy? If yes, How are these diagnosed?

Possible bt unlikely: Dear Brand: Most colon cancers are visible with a colonoscopy either as a polyp or as a mass of some sort. However, there are some that are just not in the colon and only show up somewhere else like the liver. While this is certainly possible it is rare and it is typically found with a CT scan done for some other reason. But this is definitely not common. Hope this helps. All the best, Ariel.

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Do colonoscopies screen for colon cancer?

Yes.: That is one of the main reasons for colonoscopy. The gastroenterologist usually can see every part of the colon wall and biopsy suspicious lesions. Often this is curative if found early. While not completely true, consider all polyps to be future cancers and most cancers come from polyps. Screening should begin at age 50 unless there is a history to suggest beginning earlier.

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Dr. Charles Cattano
2,033 Doctors shared insights

Colonoscopy (Definition)

Colonoscopy is the procedure of using a long flexible camera to visualize the entire colon from the inside with the option to take pictures, video, perform biopsies, remove polyps, etc. Generally people are sedated and do ...Read more


Dr. Keith Monson
209 Doctors shared insights

Proctology (Definition)

Proctologists are physicians who have specialized knowledge to diagnose and surgically treat disorders affecting the colon, rectum, and anus. Such disorders may include hemorrhoids, colorectal ...Read more