The start of a new year is a great time to resolve to take care of your digestive health. If you are 50 or over — or 40 and have an immediate relative that has had colon cancer — that might mean getting your first colonoscopy.
Here’s why you need one:
It is estimated that roughly 40 percent of Americans (for whom they are recommended) are not getting colonoscopies.
The American Cancer Society estimated that almost 150,000 cases of colon cancer are diagnosed each year. And, more than 50,000 of those people will die of the disease. More than half of those cases could have been prevented with regular colonoscopy screenings.
Colonoscopies are one of the most effective of all cancer prevention methods. During the 20-minute procedure, during which you are most often under general anesthesia or deep sedation, doctors can visually study the entire colon and rectum. They can remove any areas of concern during the exam before they become cancerous.
“After a colonoscopy, my patients frequently tell me that they were more concerned about having the procedure than they should have been,” explains Dr. Carl Calandra of Digestive Disease Associates of Hinsdale. “And, many patients that had a precancerous lesions or early stage cancer discovered during a colonoscopy, they become evangelists for regular colonoscopies to their friends and family,” Calandra says.
If your exam is normal, you’ll only need a colonoscopy every 10 years up to the age of 75. If the procedure detects precancerous polyps or any other concerns, your physician will recommend that the screening be repeated more frequently.
Call Digestive Disease Associates in Hinsdale (630) 325-4255 to schedule your colonoscopy. Visit www.ddahinsdale.com to learn more.
Note: This information shouldn’t take the place of a physician’s care. Please see your physician or one of the Digestive Disease Associate physicians with any questions or concerns.