Health Blogs

Recommendations for early detection of colorectal cancer

Colorectal cancer incidences are increasing in India. In fact, the incidences begin with noncancerous polyps in the colon. It is important to get the polyps traced in time, get them removed than complicating the situation and suffering from colorectal cancer. This cancer is the best example to exemplify the importance of early detection and timely treatment. Hence opting for screenings tests is important to recognize the signs and symptoms.

Colorectal Cancer Disease

Tests recommended for Colorectal Cancer:

Starting at 50 years of age, men & women with average risk of growing colorectal cancer shall use 1 of the below given screening tests:-

  • Tests to trace polyps & cancer
  • Colonoscopy in every 10th year
  • CT colonography or virtual colonoscopy every 5th year
  • Flexible sigmoidoscopy every five years
  • Double-contrast barium enema every five years

Tests which primarily identify cancer

  • Fecal immunochemical test or FIT annually
  • Guaiac-based fecal occult blood test or gFOBT annually
  • Stool DNA test every 3rd year

Colonoscopy shall be done if the results of the test are positive. Highly sensitive versions of the tests shall be used along with the take-home multiple sample method. A FIT or gFOBT done during the digital rectal exam in a doctor’s office isn’t adequate for screening.

Rectal Exam for Screening Colorectal Cancer

In a DRE or digital rectal examination, a doctor tries to examine the rectum with a lubricated and gloved finger. Although DRE is often included as a part of routine physical exam, it is not recommended as the only test for a colorectal cancer. The simple test that is not generally painful identifies masses within anal canal or the lower rectum. However, by itself it is not a good test to detect a colorectal cancer due to the fact that it merely checks lower rectum.

Doctors often identify a small quantity of stool in rectum while doing DRE. However, testing the stool for blood using an FIT or gFOBT isn’t acceptable way for screening of colorectal cancer. Researchers have provided that this kind of stool exam would miss over 90% colon abnormalities, including many cancers.