Colonoscopy and Other GI Cancer Screenings
No one wants to think about cancer. But for some people at high risk for certain cancers, regular screenings can save lives.
At Memorial Healthcare System, we perform noninvasive screening procedures to help detect certain gastrointestinal cancers, such as colon cancer, at their earliest stages when treatment is most effective. We also use specialized genetic tests to determine cancer risk for people with a family history of pancreatic cancer.
Colonoscopy and Colon Cancer Screenings
A colonoscopy is a colon cancer screening exam recommended for adults beginning at age 50 to diagnose colon cancer.
- A gastroenterologist examines the inside of the colon or large intestine using a long, thin, flexible, lighted tube with a camera at the tip (colonoscope) to check for polyps or cancer.
- During the test, the doctor can find and remove most polyps and some cancers.
- You may experience pressure, cramping or bloating in the abdomen during the procedure, so a sedative is normally given to help you relax.
An increasing number of colon cancers have been found to have a genetic link. In general, physicians recommend high-risk screenings for immediate family members of people with colon cancer. If colon cancer runs in your family, you may benefit from regular colon cancer screenings. Your physician may recommend starting annual colonoscopy screenings starting 10 years before the age your family member was first diagnosed with the disease.
Fecal Immunochemical Test (FIT)
The FIT test must be ordered by your physician.
FIT is a non-invasive, highly sensitive stool test used to look for possible signs of colorectal cancer. It looks for traces of blood in your stool which helps identify certain abnormalities in your colon. The test is safe and easy to complete in a few minutes in the convenience of your home.
- Patients: If you are a patient and meet the criteria for the screening, you will be given the FIT test kit at your primary care physician's appointment. If it's a telehealth visit, a kit will be mailed to your home. You can also call our office at 954-276-5552 to request a kit from your primary care physician.
- Non-patients: If you do not have a primary care doctor, learn more about Memorial Primary Care and how to become a new patient.
Memorial Healthcare System offers comprehensive colonoscopy services at convenient locations throughout South Broward County. Learn more about how we treat colon cancer and visit our price tool to view the different colonoscopy screenings offered.
To learn more about the importance of getting a colonoscopy, and how the FIT test works, watch the video below.
Datasource: Colorectal cancer screening and FIT test
Pancreatic Cancer Screening
In line with National Comprehensive Cancer Network Guidelines in Oncology, we recommend anyone with a family history of pancreatic cancer (a first-degree or second-degree relative) speak with a genetic counselor. Our genetic specialists can help you determine whether genetic testing may benefit you.
Genetic tests can identify certain gene mutations that lead to a higher risk of developing pancreatic cancer. This information can help us determine how closely we need to monitor you. If necessary, additional screenings may help detect cancer in its earliest stages, possibly before you experience any symptoms.
Learn more about how we treat pancreatic cancer.
Esophageal Cancer Screening
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and other noncancerous conditions such as Barrett’s esophagus are considered risk factors for esophageal cancer. But not everyone with these conditions develops cancer.
Your physician may recommend you undergo regular screenings if you have chronic (long-term) reflux symptoms. Regular screenings can spot cancer in the early stages, when it’s most treatable.
At Memorial, our physicians are experienced in performing a minimally invasive procedure called upper endoscopy. We use this test to check for small changes to the esophagus lining in patients who have an increased risk of developing the disease.
Learn more about how we treat esophageal cancer.