Begin the New Year Right: Schedule Your Colonoscopy Now
Our goals for the new year commonly include wanting to enhance our health and wellness, generally by focusing on our food choices and exercise habits. Preemptive health screenings like colonoscopies can also be a great way to make long-term health and wellness changes and start the new year off right. If you're wondering about your colon health and need help determining where to start, a colonoscopy exam at a GI Alliance location near you is an excellent place to start. This can help you sustain optimal health as you enter this new year.
How many people are affected by colon cancer annually?
Cancer of the colon is among the top three cancers in the United States of America, and early detection is one of the primary ways to enhance the rate of survival. About 50,000 Americans die from colon cancer each year, with the American Cancer Society estimating 106,180 new cases diagnosed each year.
Colorectal cancer is common, but it can also be simple to prevent. A colon cancer screening is an easy way to help manage your colon health. This test helps prevent and reveal cancer prior to its advancement into the late stages. Contact GI Alliance to schedule a colonoscopy and start this new year with a clean bill of health.
Why are colorectal cancer screenings so vital?
Colonoscopies are the gold standard for colon cancer detection and prevention, and understanding why might help you to appreciate the significance that a cancer screening adds to your quality of life. In simple terms, the early discovery of colorectal cancer saves lives, as colon cancer is generally very treatable when discovered early on.
Colon cancer typically develops from abnormal growths, known as polyps, in the rectum or colon, but a colon cancer screening searches for and can remove these polyps prior to developing into colon or rectal cancer. If a precancerous growth is detected as a result of the exam, it can often be removed at the same time we complete the colon cancer screening.
Understanding your health is one of the best gifts you can gift yourself this year. By being an informed and educated patient, you can make better choices that may help you throughout your lifetime. Schedule a colonoscopy with a colonoscopy doctor to have your questions and concerns addressed.
Who is at risk for colorectal cancer?
Part of incorporating sustainable changes to your health begins with learning about your chances of developing common medical conditions, like colorectal cancer. Certain risks for colon cancer might have an impact on your treatment plan or how often you obtain colon cancer screenings. Some of the risk factors for colon cancer include:
- Lack of necessary exercise
- A high-fiber, low-fat diet or a diet containing a lot of processed meat
- A habit or history of smoking
- A previous diagnosis of colon cancer
- Family history of colorectal cancer
- If you’ve had radiation to your stomach or pelvis due to treatment for other cancers
- Not getting enough fruits and vegetables
- Having inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis)
You can fight off colorectal cancer by making healthy changes to your diet, a new fitness routine, and colonoscopies. Establishing these habits gives you more control when it comes to your colon health. A colonoscopy with the GI Alliance team can help you embark on your quest for a new, healthier version of yourself in the new year.
When should you schedule a colonoscopy screening?
Becoming aware of your colon’s health is better than questioning if there’s possibly a problem. A routine colonoscopy exam can take as little as less than an hour, meaning your appointment can fit into your schedule just like your new workout routine.
The American Cancer Society advises that colonoscopies begin at 45 years old for individuals who are at average risk for colon cancer. If you maintain optimal health and are not at elevated risk, a simple colonoscopy every ten years is sufficient to keep you aware of your colon health.
Once you turn 75, colonoscopies will be suggested depending on your general health and at the recommendation of your gastroenterologist. In the event you have a personal history or family history of colon cancer or polyps, you are at higher risk for the disease. Patients with an increased risk will need colon cancer screenings more often to maintain their health.
Schedule your colonoscopy now
Let us help you make smart choices about your future and kick off the new year by placing your colon health into your hands. If you are 45 years old or more, are at higher risk due to your lifestyle, or have a family history of colon cancer, you should consider starting the new year out right by scheduling a colonoscopy with our team at GI Alliance. The procedure only takes about an hour and can leave you with peace of mind that your colon health is on track. If you have further questions or concerns, don't hesitate to address them with your colonoscopy doctor during your visit to a GI Alliance location near you.