Is There a Difference Between Home Colorectal Cancer Test and a Colonoscopy?


As we grow older, it’s critical to keep our wellness in check by obtaining routine health exams, such as colorectal cancer screenings. These examinations can detect the signs of colon and rectal cancer as well as hinder colorectal cancer development. Thanks to new innovations, patients can screen themselves from the comfort of their homes for colon and rectal cancer. At GastroArkansas in Little Rock, AR, our gastroenterologists encourage patients to learn colon and rectal cancer warning signs, as well as perform routine exams to help preserve their general health. Still, with the popularity of at-home screenings growing, it’s crucial to understand the difference between a home test and a colonoscopy executed by a GI specialist.

Should I test for colorectal cancer?

It’s essential to take your health seriously, and we applaud you for taking the first step by developing your colorectal cancer knowledge. Colon cancer tests are critical for every individual as they age; although, they’re extremely crucial for those who have specific risk factors, such as a family history of colon and rectal cancer. Some men and women decide to take at-home colon cancer screenings, as they are less invasive and more personal. Be that as it may, regular colonoscopy exams at GastroArkansas are more accurate than at-home tests and highly vital to identify and address colon and rectal cancer in the early stages.

When you have a family history of colon cancer, are at least 45 or over, or have some of the signs or symptoms listed below, we encourage you to contact GastroArkansas to schedule an appointment with one of our colonoscopy doctors in Little Rock, AR.

General indications of colorectal cancer are:

  • Variation in bowel habits
  • The feeling that your colon will not fully empty
  • Long-term abdominal cramps, pain, or gas
  • Blood in the stool or rectal bleeding
  • Unexplained weight loss

Colonoscopy vs. at-home screenings for colon cancer

It’s essential in your health quest to know the difference between a colonoscopy and an at-home screening, as the two deliver different types of information. At GastroArkansas, we implore all our patients 45 years old and over to book a colonoscopy about every decade to screen for colon and rectal cancer and further issues. Depending on your or your family’s history, we may advise you to get screened earlier or more often. During a colonoscopy, our GI physicians will search for any growths (called polyps) or abnormalities in the large bowel and rectum with a miniature video camera. If any atypical growths are identified, we can take out these at the time of your colonoscopy and conduct a biopsy. The complete exam takes between 30 – 60 minutes.

An at-home procedure offers a convenient means for patients to screen for early indications of colorectal cancer from the comfort of their own homes. This method is less intrusive and normally only requires mailing in a stool sample for review. It can look like an easy way to remain on top of your health and wellness, particularly if colon cancer is prevalent in your family history. Although home colon and rectal cancer screenings can provide a certain degree of benefit, it’s important to understand their constraints with respect to your health.

Can I do just at-home colon cancer tests?

The availability of at-home colon cancer tests has left some people wondering if there's a requirement to keep receiving routine colonoscopies when it's possible to perform these straightforward exams in the solitude of their own homes. Though the home screening sounds like a simple way to screen for early indicators of colon cancer, it cannot replace a colonoscopy. Colonoscopies are a more thorough examination of the colon and rectum conducted by one of our Little Rock, AR gastrointestinal specialists who is trained to identify any signs of a problem that might not be apparent with a home stool kit.

Get a colorectal cancer screening in Little Rock, AR

As you advance in years, we encourage you to take the lead on your health by maintaining regular colon and rectal cancer screenings. These cancer exams are fundamentally important to protecting your intestinal and comprehensive health and detecting signs of colorectal cancer sooner. The board-certified gastroenterologists at GastroArkansas are highly skilled at diagnosing and helping to prevent colon and rectal cancer. For additional details on colorectal cancer, colonoscopies, or at-home tests, please get in touch with our GI team in Little Rock, AR today.