Fact or Fiction: Colonoscopy


GI Alliance dispels rumors about getting a colonoscopy

Colonoscopies are an important part of preventing colon cancer. So why do so many people procrastinate and put off screenings? GI Alliance CMO and Gastroenterologist, Casey Chapman, M.D., dispels rumors about the colonoscopy experience.

I am healthy and do not have a family history, I can wait to get my colonoscopy.

Fiction: Two-thirds of colon cancers occur in individuals who have no prior family history. The American Cancer Society reported that people born in 1990 have double the risk of colon cancer and quadruple the risk of rectal cancer as people born in 1950. Lifestyle, ethnicity, and environmental factors can all increase individual risk for colorectal cancer.

I only need a colonoscopy if I have symptoms.

Fiction: Colon polyps can grow undetected for years and develop into colon cancer with little or no warning.

A colonoscopy is the best screening method to detect and prevent colon cancer.

Fact: Early detection and removal of pre-cancerous polyps through a colonoscopy is the best way to protect against colon cancer. Colon cancer is preventable if caught early.

A colonoscopy is painful.

Fiction: The procedure is not painful for patients. Patients can resume normal activity the following day after the procedure.

Screening at the age of 45 is not necessary.

Fiction: A colonoscopy at the age of 45 is strongly recommended for those with an average risk for colon cancer. The recommended screening age was lowered to 45 due to a rise in colon cancer occurrences in younger adults. Precancerous polyps are becoming increasingly common in adults under the age of 45.

About GI Alliance

GI Alliance is a physician-led and majority physician-owned GI services organization supporting the needs of more than 660 independent gastroenterologists operating in Texas, Arkansas, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Utah, and Washington. Practices that are part of GI Alliance are focused on providing the highest-quality care to their patients. In addition to providing operational support for practices, GI Alliance is working to unite gastroenterologists nationwide by aligning interests and improving patient care.

Contact: Dee Dee Brooks
GI Alliance
[email protected]