Colon Cancer Screening
Why is SEVG committed to educating our community about colon cancer screening?
The Bottom Line
Colon cancer is the3rd most common cancer in the US and the 2nd leading cause of cancer death. But colon cancer is unique – it is one of the most preventable and most treatable forms of cancer. Simple colonoscopy screening as performed at SEVG can prevent up to 85% of colon cancer.
Screening Saves Lives
Screening looks for a disease before a person has any symptoms. Colon cancer usually starts from polyps in the colon or rectum. A polyp is a growth that shouldn’t be there. They can be present at any age but are more frequent in people age 50 and older. Over time, some polyps can turn into cancer. Colonoscopies can find and can remove polyps before they turn into cancer. Screening can also find cancer in its very early stages, when it’s most treatable and beatable.
Who should get a screening colonoscopy?
Talk with your doctor about your options. The recommendations for colonoscopies are that men and women at average risk start screening at age 50. If you are African American the recommendation is to start at 45. If you are at high risk then SEVG may recommend a first colonoscopy at age 40.
Who is at higher risk?
Your risk for developing colon cancer is higher if you or a close relative have had colorectal polyps or colon cancer or certain other cancers. Inflammatory bowel disease, Crohn’s disease, or ulcerative colitis can also increase your risk. African Americans also have a higher risk. If you currently have symptoms, (such as rectal bleeding, change in bowel habits, abnormal weight loss, and anemia) they may be caused by something other than cancer but the only way to know is to see your doctor right away.
What is an SEVG Colonoscopy?
An SEVG doctor performs a colonoscopy at our outpatient center. You’ll be given sedatives, anesthesia, or pain medicine, so you won’t feel any significant discomfort during the 30 to 60 minutes of the procedure and our staff are there to keep you comfortable. A thin flexible lighted tube (video endoscope) is used to check inside the rectum and the entire colon. The doctor can remove most polyps and some cancers during the test if necessary. Screening colonoscopy is covered by all major insurances including Medicare.
It’s easy to make an appointment with us at SEVG and talk with one of our expert providers about screening and preventing colon cancer.