As you age, there are a few medical tests that you need to undergo on a regular basis. A colonoscopy procedure is one of them. Here's what you need to know about colonoscopies, so you can feel comfortable when it comes time for your own appointment.
What Is a Colonoscopy Procedure?
A colonoscopy is a procedure that looks inside your colon (large intestine) and rectum to look for abnormalities. It can help you detect early signs of cancer, polyps, and inflammation.
Why Is the Colonoscopy Procedure Important?
The colonoscopy is an important screening tool used to diagnose and prevent colorectal cancer. Early detection is key in successfully treating any form of cancer, which is why it's important to have regular screenings done by your doctor.
It should be noted that you can use a fecal-based, at-home test to detect signs of colorectal cancer without having to undergo a full colonoscopy procedure, but it is not as effective as a colonoscopy procedure and has to be performed yearly.
Who Needs a Colonoscopy?
The American Cancer Society recommends you get screened for colorectal cancer starting at age 45 if you're at average risk for this type of cancer and every ten years thereafter. However, if you have a family history of colorectal cancer or are experiencing symptoms such as rectal bleeding or abdominal pain, your doctor may recommend getting screened earlier or more often than recommended.
What Is Colorectal Cancer?
Colorectal cancer is a type of cancer that affects the large intestine. It usually starts as a growth or polyp in the lining of the colon or rectum and can develop into cancer if left untreated. Treatment involves surgery, chemotherapy, and/or radiation.
What Happens During a Colonoscopy?
A colonoscopy begins with your doctor inserting a thin, flexible tube with a camera attached to it into your rectum. The camera allows them to see inside your digestive system and look for any abnormalities or signs of disease. During the procedure, your doctor may take tissue samples (biopsies) for further testing.
What Are the Benefits of a Colonoscopy?
There are many benefits to colonoscopies, including:
A colonoscopy is an important screening test that can help detect colon cancer and digestive issues. If you are 45 years or older or if you have a family history of colorectal cancer, talk to your doctor about scheduling a colonoscopy procedure today.Share
23 January 2023
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