Colon Cancer Screening
The physicians of Southeast Valley Gastroenterology Consultants are committed to educating our community about colon cancer screening. We invite you to learn more about colon cancer screening and your risk for colon cancer by contacting our office for an appointment with one of our expert providers.
What is the Impact of Colon Cancer on Our Community?
Colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related death among men and women in the United States. The lifetime risk of colon cancer is high – 1 in 17 Americans will be diagnosed with colon cancer.
Each year, there are approximately 150,000 newly diagnosed cases and over 50,000 deaths from colon cancer.
Why is Colon Cancer Screening Important?
Routine colonoscopy screening can prevent 85% of colon cancer.
- Colon cancer usually arises from a precancerous polyp. A polyp is an abnormal growth in the colon
- Polyps can be present at any age but occur more frequently in men and women over the age of 50
- Screening colonoscopy identifies and removes colon polyps before they become malignant
- Colonoscopy can also diagnose colon cancer at an earlier, more curable stage
What Factors Increase your Risk for Colon Cancer?
- Age greater than 50
- Personal history of colon polyps or colon cancer
- Family history of colon polyps or colon cancer
- Family history of multiple non-colonic malignancies including ovarian, stomach and uterine cancer
- African-American Race
- Having certain symptoms including rectal bleeding, change in bowel habits, abnormal weight loss, and anemia
What is a Colonoscopy?
Colonoscopy is a low-risk, painless procedure performed under anesthesia by a gastroenterologist. A flexible, video endoscope is used to thoroughly evaluate the entire colon and remove pre-cancerous polyps.
Recommendation for Screening Colonoscopy
- Colonoscopy beginning at age 50 for men and women
- Colonoscopy beginning at age 45 for African-Americans
- Colonoscopy at age 40 or earlier for high risk individuals
Screening colonoscopy is covered by all major insurance providers including Medicare.