Colon Cancer Screening and Prevention in Arizona

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Colon and rectal cancer is typically one of the more preventable cancers. The rectum and colon are located in the large intestine, which will absorb water and nutrients from digested food, and holds solid waste before it's expelled from the body.

Screening for colon cancer is simply searching for polyps and growths that could be cancerous on the inside wall of the rectum and colon when no GI symptoms exist. A polyp is a noncancerous growth in the colon. Some of these may grow into cancer later on. Detecting and removing these polyps and any malignant tumors may help avoid difficulties and death caused by colorectal cancer.

Our experienced GI physicians routinely perform screenings for colon cancer for Phoenix, AZ residents. To arrange for a screening, contact Arizona Digestive Health today.

What are the benefits of a colon cancer screening?

Regular screenings for colon cancer are important to your general and digestive health. Some of the advantages of colorectal cancer screenings are:

  • Identify and extract precancerous growths (polyps) in the colon and rectum
  • Potentially diagnose colorectal cancer earlier
  • Potentially prevent colon cancer from developing
  • May be life-saving
  • Diagnose other GI conditions, like inflammatory bowel disease

Cancer of the colon or rectum may not carry signs or symptoms until the advanced stages. Undergoing screenings periodically can help diagnose any issues as soon as possible.

Individuals should ask their GI specialist at Arizona Digestive Health when they should go to their screenings and what tests to have. The tests listed below may be used for a colorectal cancer screening:

  • Flexible sigmoidoscopy: A sigmoidoscopy will be used to look at the inner lower colon and rectum. A tube about the size of a finger that has a camera (called a sigmoidoscope) will enter the rectum so we can take images of the inner wall as well as some of the colon. It can be used to take a biopsy of the polyp or tumor and remove some polyps. However, a colonoscopy needs to be completed to see the entire colon and get rid of all polyps and tumors. This procedure is fairly safe but there is a slight chance of bowel tearing, bleeding, and infection.
  • Colonoscopy: A colonoscope is like a sigmoidoscope, but it is longer and used to examine the inner wall of the entire colon. It is snaked through your rectum and the doctor can see a full view of the colon on our computer system. Specific tools may be passed through the colonoscope to take the biopsy and remove polyps. Sedation is required. There is a small risk of bowel tearing, bleeding, and infection after the procedure.
  • Fecal test: Fecal tests are performed with a fecal sample and are totally safe. These tests may not give confirmatory results but may suggest abnormalities in the gastrointestinal tract, necessitating more tests. A colonoscopy needs to be performed if results are positive, indicating the presence of cancerous growths in your colon. Our Phoenix, AZ gastroenterologists performed three types of fecal tests:
    • Fecal immunochemical tests detect blood through a certain immunochemical reaction of protein in the blood.
    • Stool DNA tests identify certain abnormal DNA genes from the cells shed from cancerous growths or polyps in the stool sample.
    • Fecal occult blood tests can detect blood in your feces that isn't visible to the eye through a chemical reaction.
  • Double-contrast barium enema: A thin tube is inserted into the rectum and barium sulfate, which is a liquid that is white and chalky, and air are pumped into your colon. The barium suspension lines the outer walls of the colon. X-rays of the colon will then be taken to show abnormalities on the inner wall of your colon. If abnormalities are identified, a colonoscopy will be required to remove the tumors or polyps.
  • Virtual colonoscopy: This is a CT scan of the colon. The person is asked to lie on our table where the CT scanner will take images of your colon. It is a noninvasive technique and doesn't require any sedation. If we find any abnormalities, a colonoscopy needs to be completed to extract the polyps or tumors.

The people who are at risk for colon cancer should undergo screenings more regularly. Risk factors for colon cancer include:

  • Individuals with a previous history of uterine, breast, or ovarian cancer
  • People over 45 years of age
  • Patients with close family members like parents, siblings, or children who have or had colon cancer
  • Individuals who have developed familial adenomatous polyposis, a condition where patients develop many polyps in their colon and rectum
  • People who have had colon cancer earlier in their life
  • Patients with a sedentary lifestyle, bad eating habits, and who smoke
  • Individuals with ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease

If you are at risk for colon cancer in Phoenix, AZ, then please reach out to our location to schedule regular colon cancer screenings at Arizona Digestive Health.

With regular screenings, colon cancer is often easily detected and prevented in its early stages. If you're over 45 or if you have had prior conditions that raise your risk of colon cancer, you should schedule a colon cancer screening. As a partner of a physician-led group of GI specialists who function with a patient-centric outlook, Arizona Digestive Health uses leading technology to maintain digestive health. To schedule a colorectal cancer screening in Phoenix, AZ, contact our location soon.

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Why are colon cancer screenings important?

Colorectal cancer typically develops from abnormal growths in the colon or rectum called polyps. During a colonoscopy screening, these premalignant polyps can be excised to help lessen the risk of and possibly prevent colon cancer development. Undergoing regular colon cancer screenings may also allow doctors to find cancer that has already developed. When colon cancer is diagnosed in the early stages, it may be simpler to address.

When should you begin colon cancer screenings?

Adults who have an average risk of developing this disease should begin regular colorectal cancer screenings when they turn 45. Those carrying an increased risk may need to begin screenings earlier. Your GI specialist can advise you on exactly when you should start undergoing colon cancer screenings.

How frequently should I get a screened for colon cancer?

The frequency with which you should undergo colon cancer exams may depend on the type of evaluation being conducted. In general, adults who are 45 years old and over should have a colonoscopy once every decade when they are at average risk for colon cancer and experience normal colonoscopy results. People with a significantly high risk are advised to have colonoscopy exams at least once every five years. Please talk to your GI physician for more information on how frequently you should have colorectal cancer screenings.

How can I prepare for a colorectal cancer screening?

The best way to prep for a colorectal cancer screening will depend on the type of screening scheduled. For a colonoscopy, detailed information on how to prepare will be provided by your gastroenterology team before your scheduled procedure to clean out your colon. Your GI specialist may also give you specific instructions to follow for several days leading up to your exam. It is essential to abide by your physician's directions to help ensure they can identify any areas of concern during your colorectal cancer screening.

I’ve been a patient for years. He, and his team, discovered my colon cancer early enough (stage one) such that I had it removed in time, without the need for chemo; so far, I’ve been cancer free. As long as he’s in practice, I’ll be going there for everything GI.

M.E. Google

I have been visiting Dr. Kothur for over 2 years since I was diagnosed with colon cancer. He communicates clearly and clearly is an expert in his area of medicine. I can recommend Dr. Kothur without reservation.

Z.K. Google

Dr. Faybush saved my husband’s life when she recognized his aggressive and quickly growing stage 4 colon cancer tumor. I am forever in her debt for her expeditious, professional response. In addition, she has a great sense of humor and a down to earth manner which helps patients and families cope with such a traumatic diagnosis.

K.C. Google

It’s truly my 1st experience ever, as long as you follow the steps , pay close attention to what you’re supposed to do , YOU CAN insure a safe and speedy colonoscopy , with it being my 1st, Dr.V was very warm and compassionate, introduced himself as the chief physician who will be performing the procedure, explained everything clearly and his staff so gentle, walked me through the process completely, Afterwards, , Dr.V came to check on me post-op asked if I had any questions and just a nice human being over all. Granted , I was very scared out of my mind , not knowing what to expect; absolutely terrified , although colon cancer doesn’t run in our family… but there is always a first. I am glad to say , I don’t have to come back in another 10 yrs, but they encouraged me to take healthy steps for the next go around. And to think , when I was little , I thought Diverticulosis was a form of swimming style , I was 9yrs old at the time ,don’t judge me - lol Indeed made Dr. V laugh, Rest assured you will be in the best of hands coming here 🙏🏽 Cheers to Dr. V and to incorporating a high fiber diet

J.V. Google

I have been taking my special needs son to Dr. Umar for a year and a half now. We have a family history of colon cancer so my son needed a colonoscopy at only 20 years old and Dr. Umar agreed and made it happen with insurance coverage. Then my son started having GI problems a year later likely due to EDS and Dr. Umar's MA got him in quickly specifically to Dr. Umar. He is all about patient comfort and what is realistic for the patient, down to earth, no ego (but is phenomenal), genuinely cares, no long waits, explains everything. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend him to anyone!

M.H. Google


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