I’m too busy… I can’t take off work… I can’t go a full day without eating… The prep is terrible… I would be so embarrassed…
If these thoughts or others have you delaying getting a colonoscopy, we suggest a different way of thinking…
Colon Cancer Screening- One Day Can Save Your Life
According to data from the American Cancer Society, colon cancer is the 3rd most common cause of cancer-related death for both men and women. That is a disappointing statistic because colon cancer is one of the most preventable cancers.
Unlike many other cancers, there is an easy and effective way to screen for colon cancer. Colonoscopy is readily available and effective. Large, national studies have shown that colonoscopy reduces an individual’s risk of dying from colon cancer by nearly 70%.
Why should I choose colonoscopy?
- Colonoscopies help detect colon cancer. No other colon cancer screening is as thorough and comprehensive to detect cancer and remove precancerous lesions. It is the most effective means of prevention, diagnosis, and treatment.
- Colon cancer is typically (but not always) caused by abnormal growths called polyps, or adenomas, that develop very gradually over time to become cancerous. During the colonoscopy, the physician will look for and remove these polyps. By removing polyps early, the risk of developing cancer is reduced. Without colonoscopy, the polyps continue to grow, abnormal cells continue to change, and cancer may develop.
- Colonoscopies can be used to diagnose colitis, which is a chronic inflammation of the colon, and treatment can be prescribed immediately.
- Colonoscopies can be used to diagnose diverticulosis, which are pockets in the intestinal wall.
- Colonoscopies can detect bleeding lesions which can then be treated.
- Colonoscopies are one of the best ways to help diagnose the cause of abdominal pain. Symptoms like anemia, weight loss, abdominal pain, and /or cramping could arise from many different causes. A colonoscopy can help determine if symptoms are related to a colon disease.
In average-risk people with no symptoms, it is recommended that screening start at 50. But patients may check with their insurance companies to see if allowed earlier.
It’s time to think about your risk of colorectal cancer… If you are:
- A man or woman, 50 or older
- A smoker
- Have a personal or family history of inflammatory bowel disease
- Have a close family member with colorectal cancer
- Have a history of polyps or colon cancer
- Have a family history of breast, uterine, or ovarian cancer
However, listen to your body…
If you are having any symptoms, you should be checked by your doctor. Although they can occur in individuals who have colorectal cancer, they can also be caused by other, treatable conditions.
If you have:
- A change in bowel habits that lasts more than a few weeks
- A feeling of having to have a bowel movement that does not go away even after doing so
- Rectal bleeding, dark stools, or blood in the stool
- Stomach discomfort, including bloating or steady abdominal pain
- Unexplained weakness or fatigue
- Unexplained weight loss
The physicians at Hunterdon Gastroenterology Associates are here to answer all your concerns.
NO MORE EXCUSES.
Be proactive about your health and make your appointment to be screened today!