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Colon Cancer Screening Specialist

John M Rivas, M.D. -  - Gastroenterology and Endoscopy

Rivas Digestive Center

John M Rivas, M.D.

Gastroenterology and Endoscopy & Transplant Hepatology located in Hollywood, FL

Even though colon cancer is preventable, it’s still the fourth most common cancer and the second-leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States. John Rivas, MD, at Rivas Digestive Center in Hollywood, Florida, is dedicated to helping women and men prevent this deadly disease through colon cancer screening. The way to start is with an evaluation so Dr. Rivas can assess your risk factors and then recommend the best colon cancer screening schedule. To learn more, schedule an appointment online or call the office today.

Colon Cancer Screening Q&A

What increases my risk of colon cancer?

Most colon cancers begin as noncancerous polyps that grow in the lining of your colon. These benign polyps can turn cancerous when their cellular DNA is damaged and they start to grow abnormally.

You’re more likely to develop colon cancer if you:

  • Have an inherited gene mutation
  • Are overweight or obese
  • Smoke cigarettes
  • Drink an excessive amount of alcohol
  • Eat too much red meat or processed meat

A family history of colon cancer also raises your risk.

Can I prevent colon cancer?

Yes, you can prevent colon cancer because it grows slowly. When you have a colon cancer screening, Dr. Rivas detects and removes the polyps before cancer begins, while they’re still precancerous, or before the cancer spreads.

When should I get colon cancer screening?

If you have an average risk, the American Cancer Society recommends getting your first screening at the age of 45. Choosing when to get a colon cancer screening and how often to undergo a colonoscopy depends on your risk factors.

What types of colon cancer screening are available?

You can choose to use one of several types of stool tests, called fecal occult blood tests. These tests detect hidden blood in your stool, which may occur due to bleeding from cancerous polyps.

The problem with a stool test is that it may reveal blood even if you don’t have colon cancer. The blood can come from other problems such as a stomach ulcer. If your stool test is positive, you need to have another test such as a colonoscopy to determine if you have polyps.

How does a colonoscopy screen for colon cancer?

A colonoscopy is the gold standard for colon cancer screening. Dr. Rivas gently guides a narrow, flexible fiber-optic instrument called a colonoscope through your large intestine. The scope contains lighting and a camera that transmits a magnified view of your colon wall to a monitor.

During a colonoscopy, Dr. Rivas carefully examines the colon wall for inflammation, polyps, and signs of other problems. When he finds a polyp, he uses special tools to remove the entire mass of tissue. The tissue then goes to a lab where it’s examined under a microscope for cancerous cells.

Removing your polyps effectively prevents cancer from forming. A colonoscopy also cures existing colon cancer when the polyp is removed before the cancer spreads.

If you need to have a colon cancer risk assessment or it’s time to schedule a colonoscopy, call Rivas Digestive Center or book an appointment online.