About 5% of the population is at risk for colorectal cancer, with the majority (90%) being over the age of 50. Because of routine screenings and the ability to detect and prevent colorectal cancer, the rate of new cases is declining in America.
We perform a colonoscopy, which is the most effective test to diagnose the health of your colon. After giving you mild sedation, your gastroenterologist will use a very narrow, flexible tube called a colonoscope to view the entire length of your colon. Video technology allows the physician to see the lining of the colon on a monitor. Our advanced equipment gives us the sharpest images to detect and treat lower gastrointestinal disorders and remove even the smallest polyps or abnormal tissue.
Colorectal cancer is slow growing. It can take years for a non-cancerous polyp or abnormal tissue in the lining of the colon to become cancerous, which is why regular colonoscopies are effective in minimizing your risk of colorectal cancer.
If you have no other risks of colon cancer, you should have your first colonoscopy at 50. If you do have other risk factors, call us to schedule an appointment and we can recommend when you should have your next screening.
A sigmoidoscopy screens only the short curving end of the colon nearest the rectum, called the sigmoid colon. We do not recommend a sigmoidoscopy procedure for colon cancer screening because it does not give us a full picture of the colon.
Because the colon is filled with stool, it needs to be cleaned out so we can visualize the tissue that lines it during the colonoscopy. You will be prescribed a liquid medication to take before the colonoscopy, which will result in frequent bowel movements at those times.
All preparations used are FDA-approved preparations; the list includes liquid preparations such as; NuLytely, HalfLytely, MoviPrep, SuPrep, and a pill preparation OsmoPrep. When scheduling your colonoscopy, your physician will discuss with you the various preparations to ensure which one is best for you.
Doses of oral medications or insulin may need adjusting since there is a period of clear liquid diet and fasting when you have a colonoscopy. You must check with the physician who prescribes your diabetes medications to ensure the safest way to adjust your dose around the time of your colonoscopy.