Bowel Cancer Detection
Cancer » Bowel Cancer » Bowel Cancer Detection
Bowel cancer detection should be done at an early stage so that the life expectancy of the individual will be higher. Bowel cancer is a common cancer which develops in the region of bowel or rectum. This cancer is more commonly called as colorectal cancer. This is the cancer which develops lumps in the bowel (large intestine) of the patient and affects the digestive system of the individual.
The detection of bowel cancer can be done in various ways as many tests are available to detect this disease. The only things that one should never ignore are the changes in the body of an individual, the bowel movements and continuous abdominal pain. The age where one can have any of the major symptoms is anytime above 55 years. This disease affects both the genders in an equal way. Mostly this disease is seen in the people of the western part of the world, though it can strike anywhere and to anyone.
This particular can be detected with the help of following tests
- Fecal occult blood test (FOBT): This is a test which detected the blood in the stools. If there is any abnormality in the blood which is present in the stools of an individual he is advised to do several other tests for correct diagnosis on bowel cancer. There are basically two types of FOBT, 1. Guaiac FOBT and 2. Immunochemical FOBT. In Guaiac is a chemical which is used for testing the level of heme which is the iron containing component in the blood. Immunochemical FOBT is the test which uses the antibodies for the detection of hemoglobin proteins which is present in the stools. It is believed that Guaiac FOBT is a test which needs to be done once in every two years after the age of 55 years.
- Sigmoidoscopy: Sigmoidoscope is a lighted instrument which is used by the medical professionals to diagnose the rectum and the lower bowel/ colon of the patient. If during this session, any cancerous growths are found in that region, they are removed from the body or a biopsy is done. Better prognosis of bowel cancer is done if sigmoidoscopy is done on an individual before the age of 60 years, as early bowel cancer detection always helps in reducing the risk of deaths.
- Colonoscopy: Colonoscope is a lighted instrument which is used for examining the rectum and the entire bowel. As the whole bowel/colon is taken into consideration, if any cancerous growths are found in the in the colon, or the walls of the bowel they are either biopsied or are completely removed. As this test involves the entire colon which sigmoidoscopy fails to do if there is a growth in the upper portion as well the colonoscopy will detect it and remove it from the body. Though it is not yet proved that this test removes the cancer completely from the body.
- Virtual Colonoscopy: The other name for this test is computerized tomographic colonography. This test is a special kind of examination which detects the cancer via the pictures of the rectum and the bowel. These pictures are then seeno on a big screen which can clearly show the abnormalities and the polyps development in the bowel. Virtual colonoscopy is not a long process; the only thing which takes time in this treatment is the cleaning of the colon before this particular test is conducted.
- Double contrast barium enema: This test is referred as DBE. In this test multiple X-rays are done of the entire bowel and the rectum. In this test the barium solution and enema are given with air to the patient. When the patient is introduced to this, outline of an x-ray is formed and the picture becomes clear. The only flaw in this test is that it can capture only the large polyps and the smaller ones may be missed out.
- Digital rectum exam: This is a test which is done by inserting the finger of the medical practitioner into the rectum to feel the growth or any abnormalities in that organ. A glove is worn and a special lubricant is applied on it. This test covers the diagnosis of just the lower portion of the rectum.
Generating awareness about bowel cancer detection at an early stage is still a challenge in the medical field. As the symptoms are very similar to many other abdominal ailments it is difficult to differentiate and go in for a checkup. It is important for every individual to feel the changes in his/her body and should get a self check done as soon as possible to avoid major health issues at a later stage.