When people hear the word “colonoscopy,” most think of it as a necessary screening procedure for aging men, but seldom do people think of it as a procedure that is necessary for women too. As of 2011, colon cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer deaths among women, right behind breast cancer. While 80 percent of women routinely schedule mammograms, only about 60 percent of women over 50 are screened for colon cancer.
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends colorectal cancer screening for men and women aged 50–75. At the Colonoscopy Center of Excellence, we provide state-of-the-art colonoscopy techniques, including the Third Eye Colonoscopy. Call our team of skilled gastroenterologists in Los Angeles at 888-837-0459.
Why Is A Colonoscopy Necessary?
Colonoscopy is a test that allows your doctor to look at the inner lining of your large intestine, rectum and colon. He or she uses a thin, flexible tube called a colonoscope to look at the colon. A colonoscopy helps find ulcers, colon polyps, tumors, and areas of inflammation or bleeding. During a colonoscopy, tissue samples can be collected (biopsy) and abnormal growths can be taken out. Colonoscopy can also be used as a screening to check for cancer or precancerous growths in the colon or rectum (polyps).
What Is the Colonoscopy Prep Like?
To prepare your colon for this test, you will need to clean out your colon (colon prep). Colon prep typically includes a clear liquid diet the day prior to the procedure and a bowel prep taken the night prior to the procedure to flush out the colon. The colon prep causes loose, frequent stools and diarrhea so that your colon will be empty for the test; therefore, you should plan to stay home during this time.
Your doctor will help you choose what type of prep is best for you.
Tips in Preparation for Your Colonoscopy Prep
StopColonCancerNow.com, a community of more than 700 physicians who urge women to be screened, offers the following tips to make a colonoscopy a little easier.
- Make The Prep An Event. Schedule your colonoscopy on the same day as a friend and get through it together. If you’re able to laugh about what you’re going through, it will make those repeated trips to the bathroom easier. If you’re on your own, grab a book or a DVD to help pass the time.
- Plan Your Celebratory Meal. After you’re finished with your colonoscopy, you can finally eat again. So the day after your procedure, go some place special and celebrate the step you’ve taken towards better health.
The Importance of Colon Cancer Screening
The goal of colon cancer screening is to remove polyps and prevent colon cancer from forming. It is uncommon to find colon cancer in asymptomatic patients, but when it is detected and treated in the earliest stage, the five-year survival rate is 90 percent according to the American Cancer Society. A colonoscopy is the most effective method of screening for colon cancer. Women are encouraged to be screened if they are over 50 years old (45 for African Americans) or have a family history of colon cancer or polyps.
Schedule Your Colonoscopy in Los Angeles Today!
If you are due for a colonoscopy, don’t hesitate to contact our board-certified gastroenterologists in Los Angeles at the Colonoscopy Center of Excellence today to schedule a consultation by calling (888) 837-0459.
Next, read about what happens during your colonoscopy.