We do a number of things each day to preserve our health, like cleaning our teeth, eating our vegetables, and working out. But there’s one task that frequently gets ignored that could really preserve our lives — a colonoscopy. This crucial screening can detect and help inhibit cancer, inflammatory gut issues, and additional ailments. At GI Alliance, we recommend obtaining a colon cancer screening with one of our board-certified gastroenterologists every ten years unless advised otherwise.
Why should I have a colonoscopy?
A colonoscopy is an exam of the colon and rectum that is used to find tissue abnormalities or irregularities that could be or become cancerous. To carry out this 30 to 60-minute test, a gastrointestinal specialist will insert a scope into the colon to look for any indicators of colon and rectal cancer or other problems. Colonoscopies are frequently recommended as a method to:
- Discern the cause of GI distress, rectal bleeding, chronic obstruction or diarrhea, or other conditions
- Check for colon and rectal cancer
- Look for polyps (growths that can become cancerous if left untreated)
At GI Alliance, we typically recommend that you see a colonoscopy doctor about the age of 45 and return every decade for routine tests. However, contingent on your results or if you have a family history of colorectal cancer, we may recommend you get examined sooner and more often.
Can I just use an at-home colorectal cancer screening?
Some women and men wonder whether a colonoscopy is necessary when there are home-based screening kits available. The simple answer is our GI specialists can perform a more thorough examination for any unusual or precancerous issues that is not obtainable with a basic stool sample kit. While some individuals choose to complete at-home kits, this method should not be a substitute for a colonoscopy screening.
An at-home kit, for example, cannot detect any polyps that have developed in the colon. They may indicate certain markers of cancer, but the truth is a colonoscopy can discern markers of cancer much sooner and more precisely than a home screening. Home exams are also not able to detect inflammatory gut conditions.
What makes colonoscopies significant?
It’s true colonoscopies can seem invasive. Nevertheless, the lifesaving effects of this test can considerably outweigh the few moments of awkwardness it may cause. It’s crucial to emphasize how vital these exams can be, specifically for people who have a family history of colorectal cancer. Many patients with colon and rectal cancer have no indications while in the early phases and might not even realize they have the disease.
A few reasons you may want to consider making an appointment for a colonoscopy include:
- Despite popular belief, the advanced prep for a colonoscopy is not bad.
- They are fast and virtually painless.
- This is the most effective colorectal cancer screening.
- While you might feel embarrassed, your GI specialist is not.
- Simply put, a colonoscopy might save your life.
Furthermore, a colonoscopy can detect considerably more than cancer. It can also verify inflammatory intestinal diseases, such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s, in addition to diverticulosis. Like colorectal cancer, when detected early, these ailments can be treated and further harm can be avoided.
Make an appointment for a colonoscopy as soon as possible
Even if you might think there’s no need for a colonoscopy, this test can save your life. A colonoscopy can discover initial indications of colorectal cancer along with ulcerative colitis, diverticulosis, and more. This standard exam could be the determining factor separating life and death, as our gastroenterologists are adeptly experienced at screening for initial markers of cancer and other issues that prevent cancer in the coming years. For further information on colonoscopies, please contact a GI Alliance location in your community.