Colon cancer affects approximately 1 in 17 individuals during their lifetime. Colon cancer is the second leading cancer killer of men and women, but it can actually be prevented through colonoscopy screening.
While many people think that only patients with a family history or a chronic condition like ulcerative colitis get colorectal cancer, 75% of all colorectal cancers are diagnosed in patients without these risk factors. Over the last decade, colonoscopy has become more available and more widely covered by insurance. As a result, the rate of colon cancer has finally started to decline.
Almost all colon cancer comes from precancerous growths called polyps. Polyps typically do not cause symptoms until they are quite large, which is why screening in otherwise healthy-appearing individuals is so important. Colonoscopy is recommended for colon cancer screening after age 50 (45 in African-Americans), or sooner in patients with a family history of polyps or cancer.
Colon Cancer Symptoms
Symptoms of colon cancer can overlap with many other benign conditions, but include blood in the stool, abdominal pain, change in bowel habits, and unintentional weight loss.
Colonoscopy – Colon Cancer Screening
When caught early, colon cancer is a curable disease. If a benign polyp is found, we can remove it right then and there. Colonoscopy is not an annual screening. If no polyps are found, you won’t have to schedule another colonoscopy for 10 more years as long as you have no risk factors that may put you at an increased risk.
At Midlands Clinic, we recognize that fear is the number one reason people put off scheduling a colonoscopy. Our caring physicians, nurses and support staff are here to encourage and support you with this important screening.
To schedule your colonoscopy consultation, call 605.217.5500.