Know the Difference Between a Home Colorectal Cancer Screening and a Colonoscopy

As we become older, it’s essential to preserve our physical state by receiving standard health exams, like a colorectal cancer screening. This routine test can discern the markers of colorectal cancer and help thwart colorectal cancer growth. With advances in technology, however, patients can test themselves from the comfort of their homes for colon and rectal cancer. At Illinois Gastroenterology Group in Chicago, IL, our GI doctors encourage patients to recognize colorectal cancer warning signs, as well as perform standard screenings to maintain their health. With the popularity of at-home tests on the rise, however, it’s essential to know the difference between an at-home exam and a colonoscopy executed by a trained GI doctor.

Should I test for colorectal cancer?

It’s important to take your health seriously, and we commend you for being proactive by raising your colon cancer awareness. Colorectal cancer exams are critical for all people as they get older; however, they’re specifically crucial for persons who have specific risk factors, such as family members who have had colon cancer. Some individuals prefer to use an at-home colon and rectal cancer kit, as they are less intrusive and confidential. Be that as it may, regular colonoscopy exams at Illinois Gastroenterology Group are more reliable than home screenings and extremely important to detect and treat colorectal cancer as early as possible.

If you have family members who have had colon cancer, are turning 45 or more, or suffer any of the symptoms written below, we ask you to talk to Illinois Gastroenterology Group to make an appointment with a colonoscopy GI specialist in Chicago, IL.

Common signs of colon cancer include:

  • Persistent cramps, gas, or abdominal pain
  • The sense that your colon will not fully empty
  • Blood in the stool
  • A shift in bowel habits
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • The colonoscopy vs. at-home tests for colon cancer

It’s crucial in your health quest to know the difference between a colonoscopy and a home kit, as both provide different degrees of data. At Illinois Gastroenterology Group, we implore all patients age 45 and over to book a colonoscopy about every ten years to screen for colon cancer and other concerns. If you have a family history or other risk factors, we may advise you to get tested sooner or more frequently. During a colonoscopy, our GI doctors will look for growths (polyps) or irregularities in the bowel and rectum with a miniature video camera. If any abnormal growths are detected, we can remove them during your colonoscopy and conduct a biopsy. The entire procedure takes between 30 – 60 minutes.

An at-home kit grants an accessible means for patients to test for early signs of cancer from the comfort of their private homes. This action is less invasive and normally only involves mailing in a stool specimen for review. It can seem like a simple way to monitor your health and wellness, especially if colorectal cancer runs in your family history. While at-home colon cancer tests can give a particular type of benefit, it’s crucial to know their limitations when it comes to your health.

Should I do only at-home colorectal cancer exams?

The availability of home colon and rectal cancer screenings has left some people speculating if there's a need to keep booking standard colonoscopy screenings when they can carry out these simple screening kits in the comfort of their homes. Though the home kit may seem like a convenient way to look for early markers of colorectal cancer, it cannot replace a colonoscopy. Colonoscopy exams are accurate screenings of the colon performed by one of our Chicago, IL gastrointestinal physicians who is prepared to distinguish any signs of an issue that might not be apparent with an at-home stool specimen.

Schedule a colon cancer screening in Chicago, IL

As you age, we ask you to take control of your well-being by maintaining standard colorectal cancer screenings. These cancer tests are vitally essential to protecting your digestive and comprehensive wellness and discovering signs of colon cancer sooner. The experienced GI specialists at Illinois Gastroenterology Group are highly proficient at discovering and preventing colorectal cancer. For additional details on colon cancer, colonoscopies, or home screenings, get in touch with our GI facility in Chicago, IL today.