Colon Cancer Screening in Illinois

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Colon and rectal cancer is often one of the most preventable cancers. The rectum and colon are located in the large intestine, which absorbs water and nutrients, and holds solid waste until it is expelled from your body.

A colorectal cancer screening is the process of searching for polyps and growths that could be cancerous on the inner wall of the colon and rectum when there aren't any gastrointestinal (GI) problems present. A polyp is a growth where there is no cancer present in the colon. Yet, some of these could turn into cancer in the future. Early detection and removal of colorectal polyps and any cancerous growths can reduce the risk of complications and death due to cancer of the colon.

Our expert GI specialists often perform colon cancer screenings for Chicago, IL, Peoria, IL, and Normal, IL residents. To request a consultation, please contact GI Alliance of Illinois today.

What are the benefits of a colon cancer screening?

Periodic screenings for colon cancer are essential for your general and GI health. Several benefits of screenings for colon cancer include:

  • Identify other gastrointestinal issues, such as inflammatory bowel disease
  • Find and remove abnormal growths in the rectum and colon
  • Potentially reduce the risk of colon cancer development
  • Greater chance of finding colon or rectal cancer early on
  • Could save your life

Colorectal cancer may not present signs or symptoms until the disease advances. Scheduling screenings on a routine basis can help diagnose any concerns as early as possible.

Individuals should ask their GI specialist at GI Alliance of Illinois regarding when they should get screened and what tests are suggested. Any of the following tests could be suggested for a colon cancer screening:

  • Flexible sigmoidoscopy: A sigmoidoscopy is used to look at the inner lower colon and rectum. A finger-sized tube with a camera attached (sigmoidoscope) will enter the rectum and images will be taken of the inside wall as well as part of the colon. The sigmoidoscopy can be used so we can take a biopsy of the tumor or polyp as well as extract some polyps. But a colonoscopy needs to be completed to get a look at all of the colon and get rid of all polyps or tumors. This procedure is relatively safe but has a slight risk of bowel tearing, bleeding, and infection.
  • Colonoscopy: A colonoscope is like a sigmoidoscope, except it is longer and used to view the inside of the entire colon. The colonoscope is inserted through your rectum and your doctor can see the images of the entire colon on the monitor. Special tools will be passed through the colonoscope to take the biopsy and extract any polyps. Sedation is needed. There is a minimal chance of bowel tears, bleeding, and/or infection after the procedure.
    • Virtual colonoscopy: Virtual colonoscopy is a CT scan of the colon. We'll have you lie on the table where our CT scanner will take detailed images of your colon. This is a noninvasive treatment and does not call for you to be sedated. If any abnormalities are detected, a colonoscopy needs to be performed to extract the polyps or tumors.
      • Double-contrast barium enema: A small tube is placed into your rectum and barium sulfate, a chalky white liquid, and air are pumped into your colon. The barium suspension will line the outer walls of the colon. X-ray images of your colon are then taken to reveal abnormalities on the inner wall of the colon. If abnormalities are found, a colonoscopy will be required to remove the polyps or tumors.
        • Fecal test: Fecal tests are performed with a fecal sample and are totally safe. Fecal tests might not provide confirmation of colon cancer but may suggest abnormalities in the gastrointestinal tract, calling for more testing. A colonoscopy needs to be repeated if positive results are shown, suggesting cancerous growths in your colon. Our Illinois providers conduct three variations of fecal tests:
          • Fecal immunochemical tests that detect blood through a certain immunochemical reaction of protein in the blood and are often able to find hidden blood.
          • Stool DNA tests look for specific abnormal DNA genes in the cells discarded from cancerous growths or polyps in your stool sample.
          • Fecal occult blood tests detect blood in the feces not visible to normal eyes through a chemical reaction.

You might be at risk for colon cancer if you:

  • Had colon cancer previously
  • Have familial adenomatous polyposis, a condition where individuals develop many polyps in their rectum and colon
  • Have a previous history of ovarian, uterine, or breast cancer
  • Have immediate family members like parents, siblings, or children who have or had colon cancer
  • Are over 45-years-old
  • Have an inactive lifestyle, bad eating habits, or smoke
  • Have ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease

With routine screenings, colon cancer is easy to detect and prevent in the early stages. If you are 45 or older or if you have had other conditions that heighten your risk of colon cancer, you might want to request a colorectal cancer screening in Illinois. A physician-led team of GI doctors who operate with a patient-focused attitude, GI Alliance of Illinois utilizes leading technology to support your digestive health. To learn more about colorectal cancer screenings, contact your nearest location to request a consultation today.

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Why is having colon cancer screenings important?

Colon cancer commonly arises from irregular growths in the large intestine (colon) or rectum, or polyps. During a colonoscopy exam, these premalignant growths can be excised to help minimize the risk of and potentially even prevent this cancer from occurring. Regular screenings for colorectal cancer can also allow doctors to identify cancer that has already developed. When colon or rectal cancer is diagnosed early, it may be easier to address.

At what age should I begin having colon cancer screenings?

People who are at average risk should begin periodic screenings for colon cancer at 45. Those who carry a greater risk may need to begin screenings earlier. Your GI specialist can help you ascertain when you should start your colon cancer screenings.

How often should I undergo a colon cancer screening?

The timeframes in which people should have colorectal cancer exams can depend on the type of exam being conducted. In general, 45 years old and over should undergo a colonoscopy exam every ten years when they have an average risk of developing colon cancer and experience normal colonoscopy results. Individuals who have a significantly high risk are advised to undergo colonoscopy exams at least once every five years. Please contact your gastrointestinal doctor to determine how frequently you should undergo a colon cancer screening.

How should I prep for my colon cancer screening?

The preparatory instructions for a colon cancer screening will depend on the form of screening scheduled. When having a colonoscopy, specific instructions on how to prepare will be given to you by your GI team before your scheduled exam to clear out your bowel. Your GI specialist may also give you specific directions to follow in the days leading up to your screening. It is imperative to abide by your gastroenterologist's directions to help ensure they can detect any areas of concern when performing your colorectal cancer screening.

Dr. Janda is an excellent doctor and wonderful person. He has treated my mom, aunt, dad and I for years. He helped my aunt overcome colon cancer and was a great support, and skillful and knowledgeable physician during my dad’s battle with cancer. Dr. Janda is personable, kind and genuinely cares for the well being of his patients. He even came to the office on a Saturday when no one else was there to see me and some other patients in need. I highly recommend Dr. Janda!!

W.M. Google

Dr. Rjesh Pillai is an excellent highly educated doctor that has treated me for years and during my yearly checkup caught early stage Colon cancer. He also has treated me for Celiac for years. I value his knowledge and caring manner.

Y.J. Google

Dr Penn is passionate about eradicating colon cancer. High energy and explains everything in a way that anyone can understand.

R.H. Google

I've had 5 colonoscopy's since age 42 after my dad died of colon cancer. Dr. Stinneford has performed every one. Will continue with him until he retires. 👍

K.K. Google

Dr Victor and his staff have taken care of me for 12 years. I was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2010 and I was only 38. Dr Victor was there for me and always remembers that day - his staff demonstrated empathy for me and my family. Dr. Victor answers my concerns and his staff always ensures I am comfortable - they are all very easy to talk to. I appreciate each of them!!

S.H. Google


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