In order to prevent the progression of colon cancer, it’s important to have a colonoscopy. It can be difficult to convince your doctor to schedule the procedure.
Colonoscopies are usually scheduled every 10 years, but some doctors may recommend earlier screenings depending on individual risk factors.
What is Colonoscopy?
Colonoscopy or “colon-oscopy” is a medical procedure that uses a flexible, lighted tube with a camera on end to look inside the large intestine. It is used in people who have symptoms suggesting they may have colorectal cancer.
It is used to diagnose and prevent many diseases that affect the large intestine or rectum, including colorectal cancer, polyps, and inflammatory bowel disease.
A colonoscopy may also be used to diagnose or monitor gastrointestinal bleeding, ulcers, diarrhea of unknown origin (DUO), irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), diverticulitis, Crohn’s disease, pouchitis caused by antibiotics or steroids for other reasons.
Colonoscopies are often recommended after many cancers have been detected because they can detect abnormalities in the colon before becoming too advanced and difficult to treat.
4 Reasons You Shouldn’t Put off Your Colonoscopy
1. Early detection of colon cancer can save your life-
Colon cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. It is also one of the deadliest forms of cancer, killing more than 60,000 Americans annually. With early detection, colon cancer can be treated and cured with surgery.
Early detection can save more lives than any other form of treatment or prevention through early surgery. Those who have a family history of colon cancer or are genetically predisposed to it should consider getting screened earlier than 10 years old.
An example of this is when someone was looking into their family history, they came to learn using obituaries that a lot of the males in their family had passed away due to colon cancer. This was obviously a red flag so they got themselves checked and were able to detect their cancer early enough to get it treated. Knowing your family history and talking to your older relatives is important as you can learn things that could potentially save your life.
2. Colonoscopies are over 90% effective in detecting polyps and cancerous growths-
Colonoscopies are highly effective in detecting early-stage cancers and polyps in the colon. It is a proven procedure with high rates of success.
However, there are a number of people who are reluctant to undergo the procedure because they have heard about the discomfort that it can cause.
There is also a common belief that the risk of developing cancer is low for people who go on long-term medication like those taken for digestive diseases or polyps and cancerous growths found during screening tests, like colonoscopies.
Despite these beliefs, colonoscopies should still be used as one of the recommended means to screen for colorectal cancer and polyps in order to lower your risk of getting it due to its effectiveness rate.
3. You can discontinue your colonoscopies once symptoms start to appear-
The average life expectancy has increased significantly since the introduction of this procedure. So, if you have any symptoms of colon cancer, it’s time to consider getting your colonoscopy done as soon as possible.
Many patients believe that once they develop any symptoms that their symptoms will not go away, and so they should be able to discontinue their procedures until these symptoms disappear. This is not a good idea because it can be too late by then, and there might be complications already.
4. There are significant health benefits associated with a colonoscopy, including prevention of colorectal cancer and lowered risk for diverticulitis, irritable bowel syndrome, hemorrhoids, and more-
Colonoscopies are not like other medical procedures in which the patient is sedated and put to sleep for the procedure. The patients undergoing a colonoscopy are awake throughout the process and can even enjoy some light conversation during certain parts of it.
Colonoscopies are among the most significant and simple screening methods for detecting cancer, in addition to other health concerns, such as polyps, ulcers, and diverticulitis.
There are many reasons why people should undergo a colonoscopy. One such reason is that they offer significant health benefits associated with them, including preventing cancer.
Many people put off having a colonoscopy because they don’t want the procedure done at home or in an outpatient setting. However, if you postpone your appointment beyond a certain age, you may not have the same level of insurance coverage or coverage for other procedures. You should also discuss whether it makes sense financially to extend your life expectancy by postponing a colonoscopy for another ten years or more than that.”