Colonoscopy – the quick and easy lifesaver
Did you know that colon and rectal cancer, the second most common cancer in the United States, can be prevented?
What Are The Symptoms of Colon Cancer?
Don’t wait for symptoms to learn that you have colon cancer. Colon and rectal polyps and cancer do not show up with symptoms until it is often too late. A preventative colonoscopy can find precancerous polyps much sooner than symptoms would arrive.
What is a Colonoscopy?
A colonoscopy is an examination of the colon and rectum through a colonoscope, which is a flexible fiber-optic instrument. The colonoscope allows your physician to see any polyps in your colon or rectum.
What is a Polyp?
A polyp is a precancerous growth in the lining of the colon or rectum. During a colonoscopy, your physician can find these precancerous polyps and remove them before they turn into colon cancer.
What Happens During a Colonoscopy?
Prior to your colonoscopy, you physician will have you take bowel prep medication which will allow them to clearly see any polyps in your colon or rectum. After this, you will go to your appointment for the colonoscopy which only takes 15 minutes.
Who Should Have a Colonoscopy?
Men and women should begin having regular colonoscopies at the age of 50. African Americans, whose colorectal cancer risk is higher, should begin to have regular colonoscopies at the age of 45. For people with no abnormal findings, colonoscopies are recommended every 10 years. If your physician finds any abnormalities, however, they might recommend more frequent exams.
Who Can You Talk To About Colon Health?
If you have any questions, talk to your primary care provider. They will be able to plan for your first colonoscopy, and help recommend any follow-up testing.