As we get older, it’s prudent to take care of our bodies by having certain screening tests performed at certain ages. If you are more susceptible to a type of cancer or health condition because it is in your family (parent, sibling, or child), then a screening for that health issue will likely be recommended by your doctor at a younger age than those who don’t have a family history of that disease.
One of these important cancer screenings is a colonoscopy. If you are 50 years old – or younger if you have had colon cancer or colorectal cancer in your family – this type of screening is crucial in maintaining optimum health.
Let’s talk about the major benefits you can get from undergoing a colonoscopy:
Detection of Colon Cancer or Rectal Cancer
The main reason why most people have a colonoscopy is the early detection and treatment of colorectal cancer. It is one of the leading causes of cancer-related deaths for both men and women, but a colonoscopy screening can actually help prevent this type of cancer through detection at an early stage and the removal of any precancerous polyps found by the physician during the procedure.
A colonoscopy is ideal for early detection of cancerous cells in the colon or the rectum. If a colonoscopy test detects traces of colon cancer or rectal cancer, the doctor will order further medical exams. These may include drawing blood samples or having a biopsy. Treatment can start after a proper diagnosis.
Removal of Polyps During the Colonoscopy
Colorectal cancer can develop from small abnormal tissue growths called polyps. A polyp can form along the lining of the colon and rectum and may look like small bumps or beads. While they may develop in other places like the cervix, they are most commonly found in the colon.
If left untreated and allowed to fester, polyps can quickly grow and evolve to be cancerous. The presence of polyps do not usually cause symptoms, although bleeding or pain can occur if one or more polyps are significant in size.
You cannot self-diagnose polyps; however, they can be easily detected by a doctor through a colonoscopy. Because all polyps are removed during a colonoscopy, this test itself can help you avoid developing colorectal cancer.
Gastroenterology in Sarasota
Not only can a colonoscopy lower your colon cancer risk significantly, but it can also lessen the number of surgeries needed to remove dangerous polyps in the future. Do not ignore abdominal pain or rectal bleeding – see an experienced gastroenterologist.
Although a colonoscopy (and its preparation beforehand) is notoriously not a very pleasant experience, it can save your life. Here at Intercoastal Medical Group, we will help you take care of your health while making the entire experience as pleasant as possible.
If you are interested in having a colonoscopy, or if you would like a physician to check your abdominal or digestive issues, contact us today to schedule an appointment at any of our offices across the Sarasota and Manatee County area. Call us at the location nearest you, or you may request an appointment via our easy-to-use online form. We look forward to hearing from you!