Colonoscopies and Early Detection for Colorectal Cancer

Often starting as a growth or polyp on the inner lining of the colon or rectum, colorectal cancer is a disease in which cells in the colon or rectum grow out of control. According to the American Cancer Society, it’s the third most common cancer diagnosed in men and women in the United States with approximately 150,000 new cases diagnosed in 2021.

Colorectal cancer often presents without symptoms, but can be treated early or even prevented through regular screening. Recommended for most adults beginning at 50 years old, a colonoscopy allows doctors to find and remove polyps before they develop into colorectal cancer.

“Most colon cancers, they’re silent,” said CHI St. Vincent colorectal surgeon Dr. Patrick Szeto. “The goal of the screening is to catch these cancers in the early stages where we can remove it endoscopically.”

While routine screenings often begin at 50 years old, high risk patients may require more frequent colonoscopies beginning at an earlier age.

“Patients that are considered high risk have a family history of colon cancer or they have some genetic component,” Dr. Szeto said.

Dr. Szeto is part of the team of specialists at the CHI St. Vincent Colorectal Surgery Clinic in Little Rock, which provides the most comprehensive colorectal surgery treatments and surgical options in Arkansas.

“Patients that are considered high risk have a family history of colon cancer or they have some genetic component,” Dr. Szeto said.

Dr. Szeto is part of the team of specialists at the CHI St. Vincent Colorectal Surgery Clinic in Little Rock, which provides the most comprehensive colorectal surgery treatments and surgical options in Arkansas.