The Importance of a Gastroenterologist in Early Detection of Colon Cancer

by Grace
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If you are experiencing katy abdominal pain, it is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible. One of the medical professionals you may visit is a gastroenterologist. These specialists are trained to diagnose and treat gastrointestinal issues, including colon cancer.

What is Colon Cancer?

Colon cancer, also known as colorectal cancer, is a type of cancer that begins in the colon or rectum. It can start as a growth called a polyp, which can be benign or cancerous. Over time, cancer cells can develop and spread to other parts of the body.

The Importance of Early Detection

Early detection of colon cancer is crucial for successful treatment. When detected early, the chances of survival are much higher. In fact, the five-year survival rate for colon cancer is around 90% when detected at an early stage. However, if the cancer has spread to other parts of the body, the five-year survival rate drops to around 14%.

How a Gastroenterologist Can Help

A gastroenterologist can help with the early detection of colon cancer through various screening tests. The most common screening test is a colonoscopy, which involves inserting a small camera into the colon to look for polyps or other abnormalities. If any polyps are found, they can be removed during the colonoscopy procedure, which can prevent them from developing into cancer.

Other types of screening tests include fecal occult blood tests (FOBT) and stool DNA tests. These tests can detect blood or DNA in the stool that may indicate the presence of colon cancer.

In addition to screening, a gastroenterologist can also diagnose and treat other gastrointestinal issues that may be causing abdominal pain or other symptoms. By addressing these issues early on, you can reduce your risk of developing colon cancer.

When to See a Gastroenterologist

If you are experiencing symptoms such as abdominal pain, changes in bowel habits, or blood in your stool, it is important to see a gastroenterologist as soon as possible. These symptoms can be a sign of various gastrointestinal issues, including colon cancer.

Even if you are not experiencing any symptoms, it is still recommended that you undergo regular screening for colon cancer starting at age 45. If you have a family history of colon cancer or other risk factors, your doctor may recommend starting screening at an earlier age.


Overall, a gastroenterologist plays a crucial role in the early detection and prevention of colon cancer. By visiting a gastroenterologist for regular screening and addressing any gastrointestinal issues early on, you can reduce your risk of developing colon cancer and increase your chances of successful treatment if cancer is detected.

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