Colon cancer is one of the causes of early mortality these days. The procedure of a colon cancer patient is slow and at the same time painful. But with the advancement of science, there are already measures and procedures created to address this health ailment.
These procedures can do significant changes but it will depend on the time of detection of the said disease. The earlier it was diagnosed, the more chances of getting the patient healed. And one of the effective procedures to battle colon cancer is the colonoscopy procedure.
Colonoscopy is the medical procedure conducted to determine the existence or the extent of colon cancer in the human body. Such procedure makes use of a tool called colonoscope that is inserted in the patient’s rectum and into its intestine.
Such is inserted to the person’s internals in order for the doctor to see the extent and location of the damage. Colonoscopy is now a common tool in hospitals who accepts colon cancer patients.
It is also the procedure recommended to detect the early stage of colorectal cancer. The procedure will then give the doctor the idea of how extreme or mild the damage is and can give accurate recommendation to address the client’s condition. It also allows them to remove polyps and masses that can further worsen the condition.
Dreads of Colonoscopy
Aside from the fact that this test is costly compared to any other tests, this is also one of the dreaded medical test. The thought of inserting the tube into your system, can indeed raise some fear. It is absolutely invasive, uncomfortable and unpleasant.
But such is necessary if you want to get treatment possible. For years, colonoscopy was used by doctors, giving colon cancer patients no choice but to undergo the test just to get the right diagnosis and treatment.
How is the Procedure Done?
Twenty-four hours before the procedure, the patient is put unto a strict liquid diet. A solution should be taken in by the patient in order to clean her intestines for the said procedure. This solution will thoroughly cleanse the insides of the intestine and push out the unwanted particles that can disrupt the procedure.
Patient can opt to be sedated for the procedure. With this she won’t feel anything during the actual procedure.
After the cleansing, the procedure will follow. This is where the colonoscope will be inserted into the patient rectum together with a flashlight-like pin so that the physician can further see what is inside the colon. The colonoscope will be pushed through deeper so that an intense search will be done.
The colonoscope will then transmit images if the intestine for the doctor to examine. A monitor is also attached to the machine so that physician can have a full image of the condition. And once it detected some polyps or any mass that can cause some issues, the physician will remove it with the use of a small loop. But in cases wherein the found problem could not be removed, the physician will note it then and will recommend a surgery just to get the issue out of the human colon.
After the procedure, the patient is required to rest for some time. But, he will be advised to rest the next days and would need someone to assist him with his needs like driving and lifting. Violating these can cause internal bleeding that could add to the existing problem. After the procedure also, patient will feel the pressure of the tool from her behind and would have some gas inside her stomach which can cause total discomfort.
But despite the fact that colonoscopy procedure is identified to be very effective in detecting colon problems, still, patients are very hesitant to submit themselves to the said procedure. The reason is mainly because of the discomfort that will be experienced during the whole procedure. But with the advancement of medical science, tests and other means are now discovered and recommended to patients to address the very same concern
Other Recommended Tests for Colon Problems
Fecal Immunochemical Test
Fecal Immunochemical Test of FIT is the most common recommendation of physicians to people who choose not to go colonoscopy procedure. It is approved by the Unites States Food and Drug Administration.
FIT makes use of antibodies to determine the presence of blood in the human waste. There are instances that people cannot detect blood in their feces and the only way to uncover such is through FIT.
This test will also determine the patient’s gastrointestinal condition. But patients should also be honest with their doctors especially if they have hemorrhoids, or if they have menstruation during the test.
In this test, the patient will be given the FIT kit for the fecal collection to be done at home. Once submitted to the laboratory, experts will then examine it to identify abnormalities. If there is a spotted case, colonoscopy will be recommended next.
Double-Contrast Barium Enema
This test is an X-ray type that is specially designed for the colon. The test is absolutely done externally so no discomfort and uneasiness. Fasting is also required before the test in order to eliminate unwanted images in the X ray and to identify accurately the condition of the intestine.
The thing about this test is that, it can only detect large sized masses and can completely ignore the small ones. And once suspicious images arise, colonoscopy is the next option.
Fecal Occult Blood Test
This test is said to be as effective as colonoscopy. This test is a blood test and FIT test combinedand is recommended to be done annually in order to get the best results. No preparations needed. All you have to do is get a sample of your blood and a sample of your stool.
Cologuard is a stool test but much more costly compared to any other kinds of stool test and even FIT. This kind of stool test utilizes state of the art facilities and should be conducted every three years. In this type of test no preparations needed. It only requires the patient’s stool to be examined in the laboratory.
This test can be done at home. The test will identify blood and DNA in the sample stool which will signal the occurrence of colon cancer. Once a cancerous mass is detected, colonoscopy or even surgery will be recommended in order to stop the growth of cancerous cells.
CT Colonoscopy is quite similar to colonoscopy only that it involves getting the colon x-rayed. Before a patient goes to a CT Colonoscopy, her colon will first be cleansed and emptied in order to have a clear and accurate view of the colon. There is no need to sedate the patient. However, during the procedure, the colon will be pumped with gas in order for the doctor to have a clear and accurate view of the colon.
If polyps and cancerous mass is found, colonoscopy will be recommended to eradicate the possible cause of colon problems.
This test is very similar to colonoscopy. However, it will only involve a small part of the intestine. Patient before the procedure will go to fasting and cleansing and will also experience the same discomfort to that of colonoscopy. Such procedure is seldom recommended by physicians.
All these tests and procedures are not cheap. Some of them are covered by insurances while some are not. It is best that you inquire your insurance company first for the availability of such test in your policy. And always consult your doctor for the best option.
These tests were proven effective and quite less stressful compared to colonoscopy. But bottom point is, if the findings are found to be disturbing, colonoscopy is still the best option for doctors. This test will only detect some early stages and minimal cancerous developments.
These tests are less costly compared to colonoscopy and lesser discomfort experienced. But bottom line is, the aim of every patient is to get healed in the soonest possible time so, always consider what your doctor has to say.
Colon cancer is one tough health ailment. If one is initially diagnosed with one, treatments will be recommended to stop the spread of cancerous cells. One of the popular procedures in the colonoscopy which is dreaded by most patients. But then, good thing is that there are other tests that can help determine the presence of colon problems.
All were studied and approved by the medical board. However, these alternatives will only be recommended at a certain situation or if the problem is at early stage.
These tests are mostly for detection purposes, not for curing. But indeed they are more than enough solution for those people who want to get tested but are dreading colonoscopy.
So in the end, if problem is detected, it always ends up with colonoscopy. This procedure may bring in inconvenience but so other medical procedure can help a cancer patient than colonoscopy does.
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