The colonoscopy procedure is widely regarded as the gold standard in colon cancer prevention. However, the procedure is one that tends to cause patients a fair amount of anxiety. Some people worry about preparing for the exam, while others fear receiving a cancer diagnosis.
The board-certified GI specialists at La Peer Health Systems’ Colonoscopy Center of Excellence want to ensure that fear doesn’t prevent people from receiving the testing and treatments they need. For this reason, they are committed to educating people about colonoscopy and colon cancer prevention. It’s important to remember that colonoscopy is both a diagnostic and a preventative procedure, and that removing pre-cancerous polyps can actually keep you from developing cancer in the future.
If you’re concerned about colon cancer, or your colorectal health in general, the best thing you can do is to schedule a colonoscopy screening with the experienced board-certified specialists at the Colonoscopy Center of Excellence. When it comes to colon cancer, early detection really does save lives.
Doctors tend to prescribe colonoscopies for one of two purposes: diagnostic and preventative.
A diagnostic colonoscopy is performed when the patient is experiencing various gastrointestinal symptoms. These may include blood in the stool, rectal bleeding, persistent abdominal pain or just a change in bowel habits. Remember, the fact that your doctor prescribed a colonoscopy does NOT mean that you have colon cancer. A colonoscopy simply allows a physician to view the large intestine and look for any issues or abnormalities. If polyps or other abnormalities are found, the surgeon may perform a biopsy of the tissue in question.
Patients without GI symptoms may undergo a screening colonoscopy. Preventative procedures, screening colonoscopies allow physicians to check the large intestine for polyps and other abnormalities. Removing polyps can actually prevent colon cancer from developing, so it’s important that patients begin undergoing colonoscopies at the recommended age.
The doctors at the Colonoscopy Center of Excellence, in accordance with the American Cancer Society, recommend that patients with no additional risk factors or family history of colon cancer have their first colonoscopy at age 50. For patients with a family history of colon cancer, it’s important to begin screening at an age ten years prior to the one at which a relative was diagnosed. For example, if a patient’s relative was diagnosed with colon cancer at age 50, we recommend that he undergo a colonoscopy at age 40. Learn more about who needs a colonoscopy.
According to the American Cancer Society, colon cancer is one of the most commonly diagnosed cancers in the US. However, when detected early, it’s also one of the most treatable. At the Colonoscopy Center of Excellence, we are proud to offer state-of-the-art procedures for the prevention of colon cancer.
Colonoscopy is considered the most effective means of detecting colon cancer and other abnormalities. A relatively simple procedure, colonoscopy involves the insertion of a colonoscope through the rectum to view the large intestine. Many people experience anxiety about scheduling a colonoscopy, however, knowing what to expect from the procedure can do a great deal to alleviate your fear.
Virtual Colonoscopy is a newer procedure that allows doctors to view the large intestine using computerized tomography. Although virtual colonoscopy is less-invasive than a traditional colonoscopy, the procedure does come with a number of drawbacks, including radiation exposure. It is also a less sensitive procedure, and if polyps are found, patients will still need to undergo a traditional colonoscopy. For these reasons, the surgeons at the Colonoscopy Center of Excellence do not recommend this form of screening.
Polyp removals and tissue biopsies are essential to the prevention of colon cancer. By performing a biopsy to remove pre-cancerous polyps during a colonoscopy, doctors can actually prevent colon cancer from developing in the future.
If you think you may be at risk for colon cancer, or if you have concerns about your colorectal health, don’t hesitate to contact the colorectal surgeons at La Peer Health Systems’ Colon Cancer Center of Excellence. Call (888) 837-0459 for an appointment.
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Like a traditional colonoscopy procedure, virtual colonoscopy allows doctors to view the large intestine and find pre-cancerous and cancerous growths…