Need a colonoscopy? A colonoscopy is a necessity for almost everyone at some point in life. A colonoscopy is an examination used to detect abnormalities or changes in the colon and rectum. Typically, gastroenterologists, or doctors who specialize in the gastrointestinal system, perform a colonoscopy. Colonoscopy is the gold standard screening method for colorectal cancer. Gastro-Intestinal Associates, Inc., which is located in Lima, OH, appointments for colonoscopy services. Read on to learn about the importance of colonoscopies.
What is a colonoscopy?
A colonoscopy is an examination performed by your doctor in Lima, OH, that visualizes the entire length of the colon and rectum using a colonoscope. A colonoscope is a tube with a camera attached on the end to give direct visualization of the colon and rectum. Anesthesia is typically administered through an IV during the test. The entire procedure from start to finish usually takes only a few hours. You will receive the results of this exam within a week of your procedure.
Why are colonoscopies done?
Your physician may recommend a colonoscopy to investigate gastrointestinal symptoms. A colonoscopy can help your doctor explore possible causes of internal bleeding, constipation, abdominal pain, and other intestinal problems. If you're age 50 or older, your healthcare provider may recommend a colonoscopy every 10 years or sooner to screen for colon cancer. This screening can also help find precancerous polyps and remove them before they turn in to cancer.
Who is at risk for colorectal cancer?
Colorectal cancer typically affects older adults, though it can happen at any age. Some individuals have a very high risk of colorectal cancer. They have a specific gene mutation that predisposes them to develop polyps. But average people can also be at higher risk, especially if they partake in unhealthy lifestyle behaviors. Lifestyle risk factors for colorectal cancer include obesity, lack of exercise, smoking, high alcohol intake and a low-fiber, high-fat diet.
How often do I need to be screened?
Screening guidelines for colorectal cancer recommend routine screening once every ten years, starting at age 45 if you're at average risk level. However, if you have risk factors, such as a family history of colorectal cancer, it’s important that you speak with your healthcare provider about your personal screening needs. If you have known risk factors, you may be advised to begin screening at a younger age and more often. You also may need to be screened more often if polyps or other abnormalities are found during a colonoscopy.
Being proactive with your health can save your life! Screenings, colonoscopies and early detection of abnormalities can prevent serious diseases. Don't delay- call Gastro-Intestinal Associates, Inc. at (419) 227-8209 today to schedule a consultation in Lima, OH. By getting the right health care services, screenings, and treatments, you're maximizing your chances of living longer!