In 2020, colon cancer affected almost 150,000 people, and most of the cases occurred in people who are 65 years or older. Early detection of colorectal cancer is important for the best treatment outcomes. Colon cancer screening for people in Anchorage, Wasilla, Palmer & Mat-Su Valley, AK, is a diagnostic test that helps to confirm the presence of colorectal cancer. At Alaska Digestive & Liver Disease in Anchorage, AK, and Eagle River, AK, our doctors recommend colorectal cancer screenings for people at least 45 years old.
Types of Colorectal Cancer Screenings
Colorectal cancer screenings include visual examinations and stool testing. Visual examinations include colonoscopies, computed tomographic colonography (CTC), and flexible sigmoidoscopy. A colonoscopy provides the highest level of examination. Our doctors can see the interior of your entire colon, take tissue samples for biopsies, and diagnose other diseases that affect your colon. The procedure may require a sedative to help you stay relaxed. Our CTC is a noninvasive procedure that our doctors use to examine your entire colon, and the flexible sigmoidoscopy primarily focuses on your rectum and lower section of the colon. Stool samples are typically recommended for people who have no signs of colorectal cancer. The test detects the presence of blood in your stool which may be caused by a polyp or early-stage cancer.
After Your Colorectal Cancer Screening
We will discuss the findings with you and recommend any necessary treatment. For people in Anchorage, Wasilla, Palmer & Mat-Su Valley, AK, who have negative colon cancer screening results, our doctors explain how often you need to be screened for colorectal cancer.
Staging of Colorectal Cancer
If your colorectal cancer screening indicates the presence of cancer cells, our doctors determine the stage of the disease. This helps guide your treatment plan and may be used to determine the outcomes of treatment. Each stage describes how far the cancerous cells have spread. In situ means that you have lesions that have not yet penetrated the walls of your colon or rectum. Local colon cancers have penetrated the wall of the colon or rectum but have not completely grown through the walls. Regional colon cancers have grown through the walls of the colon or rectum and into the surrounding tissues. Distant cancers are those that have expanded into other areas of your body.
Colon cancer screening tests for Anchorage, Wasilla, Palmer & Mat-Su Valley, AK, residents ensure you receive the treatment you need. Call Alaska Digestive & Liver Disease today to schedule an appointment with one of our doctors. You can reach our Anchorage, AK, office at (907) 569-1333 and our Eagle River, AK, office at (907) 569-1333.