Can CRC be Prevented? Get your Colonoscopy
Each year over 147,950 individuals are diagnosed with colorectal cancer in the United States alone. While this statistic may sound scary, early detection and diagnosis is key to staying fit and healthy. One of the best methods for early detection and prevention is to get a colonoscopy. For those with gastrointestinal issues, it is even more important to stay in touch with their gastroenterologist and primary physician to manage the risk of colorectal cancer,
Last month we shared the various ways to screen for colorectal cancer. The most common, accurate, and effective method to detect, diagnose, and often prevent colorectal cancer is a colonoscopy. Your doctor is likely to recommend a colonoscopy if you experience any of the following symptoms:
- Changes in your regular bowel movements
- Changes in the consistency of your stool
- Bleeding of the rectum
- Consistent abdominal pain or discomfort
- Increased risk factors such as Crohn’s disease, IBD, or ulcerative colitis.
Colonoscopies allow doctors to view the entire length of the rectum and the colon in addition to allowing them to biopsy any suspicious polyps, tumors, or ulcers. Before a colonoscopy procedure, you will complete a “bowel prep” to ensure that your colon and rectum are clean. Most patients receive a mild sedative before the procedure to reduce potential discomfort. Because of the doctor’s ability to both view and biopsy the colon, this is considered the gold standard in screening for colorectal cancer. If you have any concerns about the colonoscopy procedure, we recommend talking to your physician or gastroenterologist.
For most individuals who are of average risk, doctors recommend that they begin screening at age 50. If you have any increased risk factors for colon cancer, your physician may recommend starting colonoscopies even earlier. Some of the most common increased risk factors include:
- Family history of colorectal cancer
- Personal history of IBD
- Age: Individuals over the age of 50 are at increased risk.
A colonoscopy is a routine procedure. With over 75 million performed each year in the US, there is absolutely no reason not to get yours! Scientists estimate that if more individuals were aware and screened for colorectal cancer, over 30,000 additional lives could be saved. Please do not put it off. Schedule your colonoscopy today.
For those with digestive issues, it is essential to stay in touch with their gastroenterologist to get regular colonoscopies and reduce the risk of colorectal cancer. If you are looking for a trusted gastroenterologist in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, call DHAT at 1-800-425-3759. Or, to find a DHAT board-certified gastroenterologist near you visit us at https://www.dhat.com/locations.