To schedule a colonoscopy, call 800.424.DOCS (3627)
Why Get Screened for Colon Cancer?
Screening may find diseases at an early stage, when a doctor has a better chance of treating or preventing the disease. The American College of Gastroenterology recommends screening for colon cancer:
- at age 40 for any person with a first degree relative with colon cancer.
- at age 45 for African Americans because they have an increased risk of developing the disease.
- at age 50 for people who are not at increased risk of the disease.
What is a Colonoscopy?
Colonoscopy is a procedure that uses a long, flexible, narrow tube with a light and tiny camera on one end, called a colonoscope or scope, to look inside the rectum and entire colon. Colonoscopy can show abnormalities of the lining of the large intestine.
Why is a Colonoscopy Performed?
Reasons why colonoscopy is performed include but are not limited to:
- screening for colon cancer
- changes in bowel habits
- abdominal pain
- bleeding from the anus
- weight loss
- family history of colon cancer
What to Expect During a Colonoscopy
Colonoscopies are an easier procedure than many realize. You will be instructed to follow a special diet the day before your procedure and will need to have someone available to take you home afterward. Shortly before the procedure, you will likely be given pain medication and a sedative to minimize discomfort. During the approximately 30-minute procedure, any polyps found will be removed by the doctor and tissue samples will be sent for a biopsy.