Arrange for a Colonoscopy By Year's End (and Maximize Your Deductible)
Since we are heading into the last few months of 2022, now is the perfect time to evaluate the status of your health and your wellness goals for the new year ahead. One option to help make sure you stay on top of your health goals is to schedule a routine colon cancer screening with a qualified gastroenterologist.
Even though other testing methods for colon and rectal cancer are out there, colonoscopy stands out as perhaps the most reliable and efficient of all screenings available. The doctors at GI Alliance regularly provide colonoscopies to help patients catch signs of colorectal cancer early on and to provide care for any issues related to the colon. Read on to hear more about colonoscopy screenings from our gastrointestinal doctors.
What makes colonoscopies the best option for colon cancer screening?
In addition to helping evaluate for markers of colon cancer, a colonoscopy enables your GI provider to ascertain the general wellness of your colon as well as remove any colorectal polyps they find in the course of the exam.
Colonoscopy is often recommended for those at least 45 years of age or for those who:
- Are a member of specific demographic groups (African Americans are at a higher chance of having colon cancer than people of other groups, though no ethnicity is without risk.)
- Keep a diet that is low in fiber and high in fat and calories
- Have a family history of bowel cancer
- Suffer from specific inflammatory bowel conditions (including Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis) which have been proven to elevate your risk of colon or rectal cancer
It is vital to talk with a digestive health specialist to discuss your cancer risk and when to plan a colonoscopy screening.
When is the ideal time for me to undergo a colonoscopy?
In the big picture, there is not a "right" or "wrong" time in your life to be proactive regarding caring for your health. However, deductibles are due to reset for most health insurance plans on January 1, so if you have already reached your plan's deductible, now might be the ideal time to come in for a colonoscopy to keep your out-of-pocket costs down. If you are a member of a plan that has a flexible savings account (FSA), now is your opportunity to use up extra funds that can't carry over into the next year.
Also, wrapping up any necessary health screenings before year-end can allow you to start into the new year confident that you're on top of your health needs.
How do colonoscopies work?
Colonoscopies are a very common procedure that is conducted in a private setting either at your physician's practice location or your nearest endoscopy center. After arriving at the exam site and making preparations, you will be asked to lie on your side, and a member of our staff will give you intravenous sedation in small controlled amounts to manage your safety and comfort throughout the test. After sedation is administered, your GI Alliance gastroenterologist will begin the colonoscopy screening by slowly inserting a scope via your rectum and forward through the colon, evaluating your bowel health through a camera mounted inside the end of the device. Based on the findings of the colonoscopy, the test usually takes about 15 – 30 minutes to complete.
Schedule your colonoscopy today
Colon cancer is responsible for more than 50,000 deaths annually in the United States alone, but the odds of survival improve markedly if the cancer is recognized and combated in the early stage of its growth. That's why it's of the utmost importance to rely upon an experienced colonoscopy specialist who has the skills to recognize the markers of cancer and help you in the case that further treatments are required. With the collective knowledge of our physician-led group of gastrointestinal doctors available, our providers with GI Alliance are ready and willing to help you ring in a new year in which caring proactively for your health is a top priority. For additional information regarding screenings for colon cancer or to meet with a colonoscopy doctor, we encourage you to reach out to our GI team today.