By Colorado Center for Digestive Disorders
April 13, 2016
Category: Health
Tags: colonoscopy  

Regular screenings are key to preventing colon cancer.

Colorectal cancer is a cancer that starts in the colon or rectum and is the third most common form of cancer in the US. From the office Colonoscopyof your Longmont, CO gastroenterologist, Dr. Jonathan Jensen, find out if you should be getting regular colon cancer screenings.

What is the purpose of these screenings?

Just as with any disorder or disease, getting regular screenings could prevent health problems from affecting you. These screenings are able to detect and remove cancerous and precancerous polyps early on so they can be removed before the cancer spreads. Since early colorectal cancer doesn’t often cause symptoms, it’s important your Longmont GI doctor screens you.

What does a colorectal cancer screening involve?

A colonoscopy is really the best procedure for detecting colorectal cancer. A colonoscopy uses a small, flexible tube to examine the lining of your colon. The tube (also known as a colonoscope) is inserted into the rectum and carefully guided into the colon. The colonoscope contains a video camera to help us check the health of your colon and to look for issues such as polyps that may need to be removed.

How often should I be screened?

Starting at age 50, both men and women should start getting regular colorectal cancer screenings. If you are at an increased risk, you may need to start getting screened earlier. Depending on the results of your screening, we will determine how often you will need to get screened. Typically those with healthy results won’t need to get another colonoscopy for 10 years.

What are the risk factors for colorectal cancer?

There are several risk factors that could predispose you to colorectal cancer including:

  • Family history of colorectal cancer
  • Race (African Americans are at a higher risk)
  • Age (people over the age of 50)
  • Being overweight
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Diet high in red and processed meats
  • Heavy alcohol use
  • Smoking
  • Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)

Whether you are at risk or not, if you are over the age of 50 it’s time you scheduled your first colonoscopy. Turn to Colorado Center for Digestive Disorders in Longmont, CO for the individualized and compassionate care you deserve.

Comments: