What is a colonoscopy?
A colonoscopy is the best screening test available for colorectal cancer. It is the only screening test than also prevents many colorectal cancers.
Here are a few things you should know about this test:
- During a colonoscopy, your doctor examines the lining of your entire colon to check for polyps or tumors. If any polyps are found, they can be removed immediately.
- On the day of the colonoscopy, your will receive medication to help you relax. Most people fall asleep and do not remember mucho about the test when they wake up.
- Your doctor performs a colonoscopy by inserting a long, thin, flexible tube called a colonoscopy into your colon through the rectum. The tube has a tiny video camera and light at the end that sends images to a video monitor.
- Before the procedure, you will receive instructions from your doctor on what to eat and how to empty your bowel.
Many colorectal cancers can be prevented through regular screening. Screening can find precancerous polyps – abnormal growths in the colon or rectum – so that they can be removed before they turn into cancer. Screening is crucial because when found early, colorectal cancer is highly treatable. Early stages of colorectal cancel usually present no symptoms, which tend to appear as the cancer progresses.
- CRC usually develops slowly over a period of 10 to 15 years.
- CRC is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer in men and women.
- CRC is the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States.
CRC: Colorectal Cancer
Screening for colorectal cancer starting at age 50 years and continuing until age 75 years every 10 years.
If you are between 50-75 years old and you don’t have a Colonoscopy done on the past 10 years ask your Primary Care Physician about this test.