Know the Difference Between a Colonoscopy and Home Colorectal Cancer Screenings


As we get older, it’s vital to sustain our health and wellness by adding in routine health screenings, like a colorectal cancer screening. This simple exam can identify the signs of colon cancer and also inhibit cancer growth. With new breakthroughs in technology, on the other hand, individuals can screen themselves at home for colorectal cancer. At GI Alliance, our gastroenterologists encourage our patients to understand colorectal cancer symptoms, as well as undergo routine tests to preserve their overall wellness. Be that as it may, with the prevalence of at-home tests growing, it’s vital to understand the difference between a home screening and a colonoscopy conducted by a gastrointestinal (GI) specialist.

Do I need to test for colorectal cancer?

It’s essential to take your health and wellness earnestly, and we congratulate you for being proactive by raising your colorectal cancer awareness. Colon cancer screenings are significant for every individual as they grow older; however, they’re especially critical for individuals who have certain factors of risk, such as family members who have had colorectal cancer. Some individuals decide to use an at-home colon cancer kit, as they are less intrusive and private. However, typical colonoscopy exams at GI Alliance are more accurate than home screenings and extremely vital to detect and treat colorectal cancer as promptly as possible.

If you have a family history of colon and rectal cancer, are turning 45 or older, or suffer some of the symptoms listed below, we encourage you to contact a GI Alliance office in your community to schedule an appointment with a GI specialist.

Common indications of colon cancer are:

  • Long-term abdominal cramps, pain, or gas
  • Unexplained body weight loss
  • Blood in the stool
  • The feeling that your large intestine will not totally empty
  • A shift in bowel habits

Colonoscopy vs. home tests for colon and rectal cancer

It’s essential in your wellness journey to know the difference between a colonoscopy and an at-home test, as the two provide different levels of information. At GI Alliance, we urge all patients age 45 and over to obtain a colonoscopy about every 10 years to screen for colorectal cancer and additional problems. Because of your history or your family’s history, we may recommend that you get examined earlier or more often. While performing a colonoscopy, our GI specialists will look for variations or anomalies in the large bowel and rectum with a tiny camera. If any abnormal polyps are detected, we can remove these during your colonoscopy and carry out a biopsy. The whole colonoscopy procedure generally takes between 30 – 60 minutes.

An at-home exam presents a convenient way for men and women to test for early signs of colon cancer from the luxury of their own homes. This process is less intrusive and normally only entails sending in a stool specimen for review. It can appear to be an easy way to stay on top of your health and wellness, especially if colorectal cancer is prevalent in your family. While at-home colon and rectal cancer kits can give a particular level of comfort, it’s crucial to understand their limitations when it comes to your health.

Can I do only home colon cancer exams?

The development of home colorectal cancer exams has left some people speculating if there’s a need to persist in receiving regular colonoscopies when they can obtain these easy exams in the comfort of their own homes. While the home exam sounds like an easy way to screen for early markers of colorectal cancer, it in no way should replace a colonoscopy. Colonoscopies are accurate screenings of the large bowel executed by one of our gastrointestinal specialists who is prepared to identify any indicators of a problem that may not be visible with a home stool specimen.

Schedule your colorectal cancer screening

As you get older, we encourage you to be proactive about your well-being by keeping up with routine colon and rectal cancer exams. These cancer exams are exceedingly critical to maintaining your intestinal and overall health and discovering signs of colorectal cancer early on. The board-certified gastroenterologists at GI Alliance are highly experienced at discovering and helping to prevent colorectal cancer. For more information on colon and rectal cancer, colonoscopies, or home test kits, please contact a GI Alliance location near you today.