The colonoscopy procedure is widely regarded as the gold standard in colon cancer prevention. However, the procedure is one that tends to cause patients a fair amount of anxiety. Some people worry about preparing for the screening, while others fear receiving a cancer diagnosis.

To learn more about colon cancer screenings, please visit WebMD’s Colonoscopy page.

Colon Cancer FactsWhy a Colon Cancer Screening

The board-certified GI specialists at La Peer Health Systems’ Colonoscopy Center of Excellence want to ensure that fear doesn’t prevent people from receiving the testing and treatments they need. For this reason, they are committed to educating people about colon cancer prevention. It’s important to remember that a colon cancer screening is both a diagnostic and a preventative procedure, and that removing pre-cancerous polyps can actually keep you from developing cancer in the future.

If you’re concerned about colon cancer, or your colorectal health in general, the best thing you can do is to schedule a colon cancer screening with the experienced board-certified specialists at our Los Angeles center. When it comes to colon cancer, early detection really does save lives.

Two Types of Cancer Screenings

Doctors tend to prescribe colonoscopies for one of two purposes: diagnostic and preventative.

A diagnostic colonoscopy is performed when the patient is experiencing various gastrointestinal symptoms. These may include blood in the stool, rectal bleeding, persistent abdominal pain or just a change in bowel habits. Remember, the fact that your doctor prescribed a cancer screening does NOT mean that you have colon cancer.


Gastrointestinal System Los AngelesA colon cancer screening simply allows a physician to view the large intestine and look for any issues or abnormalities. If polyps or other abnormalities are found, the surgeon may perform a biopsy of the tissue in question.

Patients without GI symptoms may undergo a screening, a preventative procedure that allows physicians to check the large intestine for polyps and other abnormalities. Removing polyps can actually prevent colon cancer from developing, so it’s important that patients begin undergoing colon cancer screenings at the recommended age.

The doctors at our Los Angeles facility, in accordance with the American Cancer Society, recommend that patients with no additional risk factors or family history of colon cancer have their first screening at age 50. For patients with a family history of colon cancer, it’s important to begin screening at an age ten years prior to the one at which a relative was diagnosed. For example, if a patient’s relative was diagnosed with colon cancer at age 50, we recommend that he undergo a colonoscopy at age 40.

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How Often Should I Have a Cancer Screening?

Please contact our center to learn if you are a candidate for a colon cancer screening.

Procedures for Colon Cancer Prevention

According to the American Cancer Society, colon cancer is one of the most commonly diagnosed cancers in the US. However, when detected early, it’s also one of the most treatable. At our center, we are proud to offer state of the art procedures for the prevention of colon cancer.

Colon Cancer Prevention Los AngelesA colonoscopy is considered the most effective means of detecting colon cancer and other abnormalities. A relatively simple procedure, a colonoscopy involves the insertion of a colonoscope through the rectum to view the large intestine. Many people experience anxiety about scheduling this type of cancer screening; however, knowing what to expect from the procedure can do a great deal to alleviate your fear.

At our center, we are proud to offer patients the innovative and state of the art Third Eye Colonoscopy, a procedure that is more advanced and thorough than traditional cancer screening procedures. During this procedure, our GI doctors utilize a colonoscope that has two cameras, providing them with a greater view of the colon and allowing them to easier detect tumors and/or cancerous polyps in the intestine.

A virtual colonoscopy is a newer procedure that allows doctors to view the large intestine using computerized tomography. Although virtual colonoscopies are less-invasive than the traditional procedure, the procedure does come with a number of drawbacks, including radiation exposure. It is also a less sensitive procedure, and if polyps are found, patients will still need to undergo a traditional colonoscopy. For these reasons, the surgeons at our center do not recommend this form of screening.

As with all procedures, a colon cancer screening has associated risks and complications, which are important to consider before scheduling an appointment. To learn more, please contact our center to speak with a colorectal specialist. Our expert team can guide you through all stages of your colonoscopy, from screening preparations to after your procedure.

Polyp removals and tissue biopsies are essential to the prevention of colon cancer. By performing a biopsy to remove pre-cancerous polyps during a colonoscopy, doctors can actually prevent colon cancer from developing in the future.

Contact Our GI Experts Today!

If you think you may be at risk for colon cancer, or if you have concerns about your colorectal health, don’t hesitate to contact the colorectal surgeons at La Peer Health Systems’ Colon Cancer Center of Excellence. Call  (888) 837-0459 for an appointment.

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