Colorectal cancer, or cancer of the colon or rectum, is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the US. More than 140,000 Americans are diagnosed each year, of whom more than 50,000 die.
Colorectal cancer and polyps don’t always cause symptoms, so it can often go undetected. However, sometimes symptoms of a problem can include:
– Blood in the stool
– Stomach pain, aches, or cramps that do not go away
– A change in bowel habit
Reduce Your Risk
Screening via a colonoscopy dramatically reduces your risk of getting colon cancer, as colonoscopies can catch precancerous polyps at an early stage so they can be removed before they turn into cancer.
More than 90% of colorectal cancer cases occur in patients over 50 years of age. If you’re 50 or older, or if you are younger and have a family history of colorectal cancer, getting a colonoscopy could save your life. We recommend screening until you turn 75, and sometimes beyond.
Other factors can increase your risk, such as inflammatory bowel disease, a family history of colorectal polyps, or genetic conditions like familian adenomatous polyposis or Lynch Syndrome.
What’s A Colonsoscopy?
A colonoscopy is a procedure where one of our specialists uses a special camera to inspect your lower intestines and search for abnormalities. If anything is found, the specialist can remove it for testing. Patients are typically given general intravenous sedation for the procedure.
Many insurance plans and Medicare help pay for colorectal cancer screening, especially if you meet certain risk factors. Check with your plan to find out which tests are covered for you.
Schedule A Colonoscopy at Regional Gi
You can schedule a colonoscopy with any of the 15 board-certified gastroenterologists at Regional Gi. All of our physicians are well trained and anxious to help you in your personal quest to prevent colon cancer.
You or your primary care provider can simply call our office to schedule a colonoscopy using our Open Access program. However, an office appointment prior to your procedure may be necessary if our staff determines that your health history warrants further evaluation by one of our physicians or nurse practitioners.