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Participating in colon cancer screening at Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa is a great way for St. Petersburg, Florida, residents to take charge of their health. Because Moffitt is a high-volume cancer center, the oncologists in our Gastrointestinal Oncology Program see a large number of patient each year, and have unparalleled experience in the screening, diagnosis and treatment of colon cancer.

Colon cancer screening can detect precancerous and cancerous changes in the colon long before the cancer has progressed to cause any noticeable symptoms. Those age 45 and over, as well as individuals who are at a higher risk of developing colon cancer, are highly encouraged to participate in regular colon cancer screening. When detected in its earliest stages, colon cancer has more treatment options available, and the treatment is more likely to achieve a favorable outcome and result in a better quality of life.

For St. Petersburg, FL, area patients, Moffitt offers several virtually risk-free methods of colon cancer screening some of which include:

  • Standard colonoscopy – After the patient is sedated, a flexible tube with a small camera attached to the end (colonoscope) is inserted into the patient’s rectum, displaying a real-time image on an external monitor. The physician then examines the colon and rectum for polyps and other abnormalities.
  • Virtual colonoscopy – A catheter is inserted into the patient’s rectum and fills their colon with air. Then, computerized tomography (CT) scans are taken and reviewed by a physician to check for polyps.
  • Fecal occult blood test – A patient’s fecal sample is tested in a lab to detect any occult (hidden) blood. If blood is present, more extensive testing may be required to check for the presence of a bleeding tumor.
  • Double-contrast barium enema – A tube inserted into the rectum injects the patient with barium sulfate, a liquid used to provide contrast for imaging. The tube proceeds to fill the colon with air and X-ray images are taken. Follow-up testing may be recommended if the X-rays show the presence of polyps.
  • Sigmoidoscopy – A thin, flexible tube with a camera attached to the end (sigmoidoscope) is inserted into the patient’s rectum, allowing the physician to check for abnormalities in the rectum and lower portion of the colon. If polyps are found, the physician may remove and examine them for the presence of cancer.

If you are in the St. Petersburg, FL, area and would like to speak with the experts at Moffitt Cancer Center about which form of colon cancer screening is right for you, call 1-888-663-3488 or submit a new patient registration form online. You do not need a referral to consult with our physicians.

Colon Cancer