Are you approaching the age of 50? If you are, you must add important health screening to your "to do" list. Yes, the American Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy says that people 50 and older should have their colons, or large intestines, tested for cancer. At Gastrointestinal Specialists, board-certified physicians provide you with the latest in gastroenterology diagnostics and treatments right on premises in Troy, MI. Learn here about the whys and hows of this important and life-saving test.
The numbers cannot be ignored
Some people think colonoscopy screening is simply unnecessary. However, health statistics tell a different story. The American Cancer Society states that more than 95,000 new cases of colon cancer are discovered every year in the United States. A study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute also says that the number of cases found in people under fifty is rising.
So video-monitored colonoscopy remains the gold standard in diagnosing this potentially deadly cancer. Other less reliable exams include flexible sigmoidoscopy, stool blood test and digital rectal exam. Your board-certified gastroenterologist in Troy likely will recommend you receive a complete colonoscopy every ten years and more frequently if your test reveals benign or pre-cancerous polyps.
The prep is important
While bowel preparation for colonoscopy varies a bit from doctor to doctor, the aim of any pre-test medication is a totally cleansed bowel. One day before your test, you will consume only clear liquids, such as tea, broth and apple juice, and then drink laxatives in the amount prescribed by your physician. You must avoid anything with red or purple dye content.
The test itself
It lasts about 45 minutes. You will be sedated and likely will remember little of your exam afterward. The doctor gently introduces a flexible, lighted tube into your rectum and advances it through the intestine. The tube has a tiny camera on the end and sends live pictures to a monitor in the treatment room.
These pictures reveal any abnormalities, and also your doctor can take biopsies and remove polyps as needed. Afterwards, a friend or loved one must drive you home.
State of the art
At Gastrointestinal Specialists in Troy, MI, expect gentle, kind and accurate gastroenterology testing right in our own Endoscopy Center. Are you turning 50? Why not call the office to ask about screening for colon cancer? Phone (248) 273-9930.