Monday, March 12, 2012

Besides March Madness...make sure you get a Colonscopy this Month

March is the month where we celebrate for the awareness for colorectal cancer or colon cancer. Colonoscopies are the manner that this cancer is found. Other intestinal problems can also be identified.

More than 55,000 deaths a year are attributed to colorectal cancer. And be sure to remember, this cancer affects women and men. 

The initial age of screening is 50. More than 85% of colon cancers are found in those above the age of 50. Usually there are no symptoms, at least, no initially. Blood in stool, weight loss, fatigue, and a few other symptoms can be seen.

Screening is the best preventative measure as well as the way to diagnosis cancer. This cancer affects the large bowel.

Cancer in the colon usually begins as a benign polyp. Over time, and were talking years, the polyp could potentially turn into cancer. But it is vitally important to remember that not all polyps will become cancer. That is why routine biopsies or even removal of the polyp is done during the colonoscopy, just to make sure.

The prep is often far worse than the actual procedure. Remember this. You need to avoid food for 24 hours. A medication, in liquid form, helps you get cleaned out.

A special camera is used for the procedure and it examines the colon, large and small intestines. If a polyp is found or there are some tissue that may be concerning, then a biopsy or complete removal of the polyp is easily done.

So, as for the celebration this year, try to schedule a colonoscopy if you over the age of 50 and have never had one before. Or…if it is time for a follow-up procedure.

For any other questions or concerns, contact your medical provider and get it scheduled.

You can also see an InterActive Health look at an actual colonoscopy procedure by clicking - here