Colorectal cancer begins in the colon or rectum. It is one cancer that can be caught early and be prevented through screening. With that in mind, screening for colorectal cancer should be a priority, however, many would rather put it off. Colorectal cancer is being diagnosed in patients who are considered to be low-risk for the disease, and the age of the average patient is also getting younger.
A colonoscopy is a gold standard for detecting colorectal cancer. It can detect over 95 percent of cancer cells in the colon and rectum. There are guidelines given by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and The American Cancer Society for when to start getting a colonoscopy, but you should arrive at a decision after discussing it with your doctor.
Let’s talk about why you shouldn’t be putting off getting a colonoscopy.
#1 It May Save Your Life
Colorectal cancer screening saves lives. Deaths due to colorectal cancer have decreased thanks to advances in screening methods. Approximately 90 percent of patients diagnosed with cancer live five years or more if the disease is detected early.
#2 Colon Cancer Doesn’t Always Cause Symptoms
Early-stage colorectal cancer does not cause symptoms, neither do pre-cancerous polyps. Symptoms usually appear once the disease has reached an advanced stage, and by that time, your treatment options may be limited, and positive outcomes are greatly reduced. You do not want to wait and gamble with your life.
#3 Colon Cancer Can Affect Anyone
If you have a colon and rectum, colorectal cancer can happen to you. If you are willing to adopt healthy changes in your diet and lifestyle, consider colonoscopy to be part of your preventive care. Once you reach the age of 45, no matter how healthy you are, colorectal cancer is a risk. Therefore, there is no one who should consider colonoscopy as unnecessary.
#4 Colonoscopy is Painless
Bowel prep involves drinking a formula to induce bowel movements. It is an essential part of prepping for a colonoscopy. Previously, bowel prep formulas were bad-tasting and required patients to consume large amounts of water. Today, bowel preps taste better and are more effective. Therefore, the instructions you must follow will be easier and more comfortable.
In addition, colonoscopies are performed using sedatives, which help you relax and block pain or discomfort during the procedure.
A colonoscopy should only be performed by someone highly trained and experienced in the procedure. A gastroenterologist has the expertise needed to administer the procedure safely and accurately.
Gastroenterology Clinic in California
The gastroenterologists at inSite Digestive Health Care recommend colonoscopy to screen for colorectal cancer. We will discuss the procedure with you and address any concerns you may have about it. Our friendly and compassionate physicians like our patients to be well-informed and fully understand the colon prep instructions for a successful colonoscopy.