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Dr. Godinez explains the different types of screening tests used in colorectal cancer cases.

Lewisville, TX – February 13, 2020 – Colorectal cancer affects both men and women. It may be benign (non-cancerous) or malignant, where it spreads and damages other parts of the body. The common symptoms of the disease include changes in bowel movements, bloody stool, bleeding from the rectum, bloating, and pain in the abdomen, fatigue, a lump in the abdomen, sudden weight loss, and more.

“The possible risk factors include age, diet, alcohol consumption, history of ovarian, breast or uterine cancer, family history of the disease, obesity, smoking, lack of exercise, and more, said Dr. Godinez. “Treatment will depend on the size of the tumor, its stage, and location and the health of the patient.”

Early screening for colorectal cancer can help detect polyps before they turn cancerous and help to cure the disease.

Here are some of the standard screening procedures for colorectal cancer:

• Stool DNA test – Stool DNA test analyzes any DNA markers for cancerous cells found in the stool. Patients are asked to collect stool samples which will be examined in the lab.

• Fecal occult blood test – This procedure also checks the patient’s stool for any presence of blood. However, this test is likely to produce false-negative results since blood can be present in the stool because of other conditions like hemorrhoids.

• Flexible sigmoidoscopy – This is when a doctor will use a sigmoidoscope to examine the sigmoid and rectum of the patient for polyps. Although a bit uncomfortable, flexible sigmoidoscopy is less painful, and it will only take a few minutes. However, there could be a perforation of the colon wall.

• Colonoscopy – This is the standard screening test for colorectal cancer. It is a painless procedure that helps to detect polyps in the colon and rectum. If any are identified, they will be removed during the process, or the patient will be referred for a biopsy.

“You can prevent colorectal cancer by avoiding a sedentary lifestyle and trying to eat a diet full of fruits and vegetables, fiber and white meat,” continued Dr. Godinez. “Also, regular exercise can help to maintain a healthy weight. Be sure to get regular screenings if you are at high risk of developing the disease.”

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