There are several options available to help detect and prevent colorectal cancer in San Antonio TX.
- Colonoscopy. In this exam I pass a small flexible tube with a camera on the tip into and across the entire length of your colon while you are asleep. With this exam polyps can be both found and removed. Bowel prep before exam is required. Click here for more information on the colonoscopy procedure.
- Barium Enema. A small tube is put into your rectum and the radiologist will instill barium (liquid) and air into your colon to dilate it while you are awake. Then x-rays are taken to look for polyps or cancer. Bowel prep before exam is required. If polyps are found you are sent to colonoscopy to have them removed.
- Virtual CT Colonography. A newer study, where you are given contrast to drink and a tube is put in your rectum to instill air into your colon while you are awake. Then you are sent through a CT scanner to take images of your colon. If polyps are found you are sent to colonoscopy to have them removed. Bowel prep before exam is required.
- Fecal Occult Blood Test. This is a test for blood in your stool. Most cancers and most polyps leak small amounts of blood. Your doctor will test your stool for evidence of trace amounts of blood and, if detected, you will be recommended to have a colonoscopy to find the source. Main limit of this test is not all polyps leak blood and if it is a colon cancer that is leaking the blood, many times it is too late.
- Fecal Immunochemical Test (FIT). This is similar to the fecal occult blood test. Your stool is tested for trace amounts of blood. Again the limitation is not all tumors leak blood and most only leak blood intermittently. If blood is detected you will be referred for colonoscopy to find the source.
- Stool DNA Test. This tests your stool for abnormal cell DNA that is typically found in polyps and colon cancer. If found you will be sent for a colonoscopy to find the source. This test is not readily available in the United States.