How Do Colonoscopies and At-Home Colorectal Cancer Screenings Differ?


As we become older, it’s important to sustain our health by obtaining routine health checks, like colon cancer screenings. These simple screenings can discover the markers of colon and rectal cancer as well as prevent cancer advancement. With new changes in technology, however, individuals can test themselves at home for colorectal cancer. At Texas Digestive Disease Consultants in DFW, our gastroenterologists advise patients to learn about colorectal cancer signs, as well as keep up with typical tests to maintain their general health. Although, with the prevalence of at-home tests on the rise, it’s essential to understand the difference between a home test and a colonoscopy performed by a GI specialist.

Do I have to check for colorectal cancer?

It’s essential to take your well-being seriously, and we praise you for being proactive by advancing your colorectal cancer awareness. Colon cancer screenings are significant for every individual as they grow older; although, they’re exceptionally important for people who have specific risk factors, such as a family history of colon and rectal cancer. Some people decide to complete an at-home colorectal cancer exam, as they are less intrusive and private. Still, typical colonoscopy tests at Texas Digestive Disease Consultants are more accurate than home exams and vitally crucial to identify and treat colon cancer as soon as possible.

If you have a family history of colorectal cancer, are age 45 or older, or suffer some of the signs documented below, we ask you to reach out to Texas Digestive Disease Consultants to make an exam with a colonoscopy doctor in DFW.

General signs of colorectal cancer include:

  • Rectal bleeding or bloody stools
  • A shift in bowel habits
  • The feeling that your large intestine will not totally empty
  • Long-term cramps, gas, or abdominal pain
  • Unexplained weight loss

Colonoscopy vs. at-home screenings for colorectal cancer

It’s important in your pursuit of health to understand the distinction between a colonoscopy and an at-home screening, as both supply different degrees of information. At Texas Digestive Disease Consultants, we urge all our patients 45 years old and over to book a colonoscopy around every decade to screen for colon cancer and further problems. Based on your or your family’s history, we could urge you to get examined sooner or more often. During a colonoscopy, our GI specialists will look for growths or abnormalities in the large bowel and rectum utilizing a small camera. If any abnormal tissues are identified, we can take out them at the time of your colonoscopy and carry out a biopsy. The entire colonoscopy takes around 30 – 60 minutes.

An at-home test provides an accessible means for people to screen for early signs of colon cancer from the luxury of their private homes. This method is less invasive and generally only entails mailing in a stool specimen for examination. It can seem like an effortless approach to stay on top of your health and wellness, particularly if colon cancer runs in your family. Although home colon cancer kits might offer a particular type of comfort, it’s crucial to see their limitations when it comes to your health.

Can I do only home colon cancer exams?

The availability of home colon cancer screenings has left some people speculating if there's a necessity to persist in getting regular colonoscopy screenings when it's possible to obtain these straightforward tests in the privacy of their homes. Even though the home exam seems like a convenient method to screen for early markers of cancer, it in no way should replace a colonoscopy. The colonoscopy is a more thorough screening of the large bowel performed by one of our DFW gastrointestinal physicians who is trained to identify any signs of an issue that may not be apparent with a home stool kit.

Get a colon and rectal cancer exam in DFW

As you get older, we encourage you to take control of your wellness by keeping up with routine colorectal cancer exams. These cancer screenings are exceedingly essential to maintaining your intestinal and general wellbeing and identifying indicators of colorectal cancer early on. The board-certified gastroenterologists at Texas Digestive Disease Consultants are experienced at diagnosing and helping to prevent colorectal cancer. For additional details on colon and rectal cancer, colonoscopies, or at-home tests, make an appointment with our GI team in DFW today.