Having a Routine Colonoscopy Could Save Your Life!

We do many tasks daily to sustain our wellness, like caring for our teeth, eating our vegetables, and exercising regularly. However, there’s one task that often gets neglected that could actually save our lives — a colonoscopy. This essential exam can identify and help inhibit cancer development, inflammatory intestinal diseases, and more. At Digestive Health Associates of Texas, we advise having a colorectal cancer screening every ten years unless recommended otherwise. Our skilled gastrointestinal (GI) doctors frequently perform colonoscopies for Dallas, TX patients.

Why get a colonoscopy screening?

A colonoscopy allows for an exam of the large intestine and rectum. It is used to detect changes and/or abnormalities that could be or become malignant. To perform this 30 to 60-minute test, a gastrointestinal physician will insert a scope into the colon to look for any indications of colon and rectal cancer or other problems. Colonoscopies are usually advised as a technique to:

  • Detect the cause of chronic constipation or diarrhea, abdominal discomfort, blood in the stool, or other various concerns
  • Screen for colorectal cancer
  • Check for polyps (tissue growths that can turn cancerous if not treated)

At Digestive Health Associates of Texas, we typically suggest that you visit a colonoscopy doctor at age 45 and again every decade for periodic screenings. However, depending on the exam results or if you have a family history of colon cancer, we may recommend you get tested sooner and more often.

What about a home-based colon and rectal cancer test kit?

Many people are curious as to why a colonoscopy is recommended when home-based screenings are available. The simple answer is our gastroenterologists can obtain a more complete picture of any unusual or precancerous conditions than with an at-home stool specimen test. While some individuals prefer to use these at-home kits, they should not replace a colonoscopy exam.

A home kit, for example, cannot detect any tumors that have developed in the colon. They may signal certain signs of cancer, but the truth is a colonoscopy can discover indicators of cancer much earlier and more precisely than a home test. At-home kits are also not capable of detecting inflammatory gut diseases.

What makes colonoscopies significant?

Colonoscopies can seem intrusive. Despite that, the lifesaving effects of this procedure can greatly outweigh the short timespan of awkwardness it may produce. It’s essential to emphasize how vital these procedures can be, especially for men and women who have a family record of colon and rectal cancer. Many people with colon cancer have no signs during the early phases and may not even recognize they have the illness.

A few straightforward reasons for scheduling a colonoscopy include:

  • The preparation process for a colonoscopy is not all that bad, contrary to public opinion.
  • They are generally comfortable and performed relatively quickly.
  • A colonoscopy is the most precise type of colon cancer exam.
  • While you could feel embarrassed, your GI physician does not.
  • Plainly put, a colonoscopy could save your life.

Furthermore, a colonoscopy can detect much more than cancer. It can also confirm inflammatory GI conditions, such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn's, as well as diverticulosis. Like colorectal cancer, when identified early, these diseases can be treated and additional harm can possibly be avoided.

Schedule a colonoscopy in Dallas, TX today

Although you might believe there’s no need for a colonoscopy, this screening can save your life. A colonoscopy can discover initial signs of colon and rectal cancer, and it can also identify diverticulosis, Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, and more. This simple screening might be the deciding factor between life and death, as our Dallas, TX gastroenterologists are trained to check for early signs of cancer and other issues that could hinder cancer growth in the future. To set up your colonoscopy at Digestive Health Associates of Texas, please contact one of our GI offices in your community.