Some Simple Statistics
Simple SEVG colonoscopy screening can catch colon cancer early when there’s an amazing 80% to 90% chance of survival. While colon cancer is the third most diagnosed cancer in men and women in the US it is also one of the most preventable and most treatable. Today there are more than 1.5 million colorectal cancer survivors but still only about 4 out of 10 colorectal cancers are found at that crucial early stage.
The Not So Good
The lifetime risk of developing colorectal cancer is about 1 in 23 for men and 1 in 25 for women and colorectal cancer is expected to cause almost 53,000 deaths this year (colorectal cancer means cancers starting in the colon or the rectum, the last 6 inches of the digestive system).
So if there are things you can do to catch and treat colon cancer early then why is it the second leading cause of cancer deaths for men and women in the United States?
Maybe it’s because no one likes to talk about it?
About 2 out of 5 people who should get tested have never been screened.
Screening Saves Lives
SEVG screening looks for disease before a person develops symptoms.
Colon cancer usually starts from polyps in the colon or rectum. A polyp is a growth that shouldn’t be there and polyps themselves usually produce few, if any, symptoms. Many people don’t even know they are there but some polyps can silently, over time, turn into cancer. They can happen at any age but are more frequent in people 45 and older. For this reason doctors recommend regular colonoscopies for folks over 45 to help prevent colon cancer by identifying and removing polyps. SEVG screening can also find actual very early stage cancerous growths and that’s when the cancer is most treatable and beatable.
Who Should Get a Screening Colonoscopy?
Anyone can develop colon cancer, both men and women are equally at risk. It’s so important to have SEVG screening tests because you may not have symptoms
If you have a known to have an above average risk of colon cancer, your doctor might recommend more-frequent or earlier colon cancer screening with SEVG colonoscopy but over 75% of colon and rectal cancers happen to people with no known risk factors, another reason why regular screening is so important.
What Can Put Me Above Average Risk for Colorectal Cancer?
- A first degree relative (parent, sibling, or child) with colorectal cancer.
- A relative diagnosed under 45 or more than one affected relative.
- Family history of Lynch syndrome, or several other inherited syndromes.
- A family history of certain types of polyps.
- About 20% of all colorectal cancer patients have a close relative with colorectal cancer
- Personal or family history of inflammatory bowel disease, ulcerative colitis, or Crohn’s disease.
- Other cancers such as ovarian, breast, and endometrial.
- African Americans, Asians, and those of Latino descent are often diagnosed at a later stage of the disease.
- Physical inactivity.
- Being overweight or obese.
- High consumption of red and/or processed meat + very low fruits and vegetables.
- Tobacco smoking.
- Average of 2-4 alcoholic drinks per day have a 23% higher risk of colorectal cancer than those who consume less than one drink per day.
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. Your SEVG 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.