Colon cancer is not a fate. Screening tests prevent the development of colorectal cancer and make it possible to successfully treat an early-detected tumor. Independent of personal risk, early detection is the only way to effectively combat colorectal cancer.
Different methods of colorectal cancer screening
Colonoscopy, virtual colonoscopy, occult blood tests and palpation are among the different methods used to detect colorectal cancer in colorectal cancer screening.
The most effective method of early detection is colonoscopy. If the findings are inconspicuous here, the examination is repeated after 10 years. The widespread fear of a colonoscopy is unfounded. Since October 2002, quality assurance has been in force nationwide in Germany, so that only experienced doctors are allowed to perform screening colonoscopy. In the hands of such doctors, the examination is a painless and uncomplicated procedure.
After a thorough cleansing of the bowel by removal, a thin, flexible tube is inserted with a mini-camera over the anus. The procedure takes about 20 minutes and is painless with the help of a sedative injection. If desired, the patient can follow the examination on the screen or sleep at the same time. Detected polyps are often removed during colonoscopy: an extendable loop snaps off the polyp. In principle, all polyps that are detected during a reflection are removed; Although not every polyp would become a colon tumor, every colorectal cancer was once a polyp. It is only in the histological examination of the polyp that it can be ascertained whether individual, degenerated cells were already hidden in it.
Virtual colonoscopy, also known as CT colonography, is a recent high-tech procedure for looking at the bowel's interior and looking for changes. While an endoscope is inserted into the intestine during the "classic" colonoscopy, the virtual colonoscopy does not take place directly in the body but is "simulated" on the computer. For this purpose, computer-aided examination methods such as computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance tomography (MRI) are necessary, whose digital sectional images are converted by special computer programs into a three-dimensional view of the intestine.
Just as a normal colonoscopy, it is necessary in the virtual colonoscopy, the intestine in advance to clean, to allow the view of the intestinal wall. The reliability and significance of the virtual examination depends on the software, which allows the representation of the intestinal interior of the computer monitor due to complicated computational processes. With the help of improved software programs, it is increasingly possible to further increase the reliability of virtual colonoscopy.
Nevertheless, endoscopic colonoscopy is the most meaningful method for safe prevention and early detection of colorectal cancer and intestinal polyps, especially as even very small or inflammatory changes can be detected and detected polyps can be removed during an examination procedure.