The importance of having a colonoscopy
It’s important to understand what a colonoscopy is for, even if it’s not something you’re necessarily looking forward to. A colonoscopy is a screening exam for colorectal cancer, and is one of the most reliable ways to detect it early. During the procedure, your doctor examines your entire colon and rectum.
The doctor is inspecting for any abnormal tissues, like polyps, ulcers, tumors, or lesions. Polyps are benign, non-cancerous tumors, however, they can develop into cancer depending on the kind of polyp it is. One of the biggest benefits of colonoscopies is that they can diagnose and prevent cancer, since any suspicious tissues can be biopsied or removed during the procedure.
Before a colonoscopy, you’ll do a bowel preparation so your doctor can see everything clearly. You’re given medicine to relax and sleep during the procedure, which takes about 30 minutes.
Screening for colorectal cancer and other digestive issues
Colorectal cancer is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer in men and women in the United States. It’s estimated that only half of people have colorectal cancer screenings when they should and only 4 out of 10 colorectal cancers are found early.
Not only does a colonoscopy screen for colorectal cancer, it can also check for the causes of digestive symptoms including diarrhea, unexplained weight loss, or inflammatory bowel disease.
It is typically recommended that everyone over the age of 50 has a colonoscopy once every 10 years. Talk with your doctor about when you should have a colonoscopy, especially if you have risk factors that would require you to schedule it earlier than normal.
Colonoscopy Screening in Atlanta, GA
Call Piedmont Colorectal Associates at (404) 351-7900 to schedule an appointment.