Not sure when you should start having colonoscopies? Your Troy, MI gastroenterologists at Gastrointestinal Specialists, PC, share information about this important test and explain when you should have your first colonoscopy.
What is a colonoscopy?
A colonoscopy is a diagnostic test that gives your doctor an up-close view of your colon and the lower section of the small intestine. You'll receive anesthesia prior to the procedure and won't feel a thing. During the test, a thin, flexible scope is inserted into your anus. A digital miniature camera attached to the end of the scope transmits images to a monitor, giving your doctor a perfect view of your intestines. As the scope is inserted and retracted, your doctor looks for signs of polyps, lesions or other abnormalities.
When should I get a colonoscopy?
Most people should start receiving colonoscopies at age 50. Fifty is the recommended starting age because your colon cancer risk increases with age. Your gastroenterologist may recommend that you undergo a colonoscopy earlier if you have gastrointestinal issues.
Why is it so important that I receive a colonoscopy?
Colon cancer often doesn't cause any noticeable symptoms until the cancer is very advanced. Although colon cancer is very treatable during the early stages, advanced cancer is much harder to treat. Polyps in your colon can be a warning sign. Unfortunately, if you don't get a colonoscopy, you'll never know that you have them. Many polyps aren't cancerous initially but can become cancerous if they remain in your colon. During a colonoscopy, your doctor removes any polyps he spots and sends them to a laboratory to be tested for cancer.
Are there other reasons that colonoscopies are performed?
Colonoscopies are also used to help your doctor determine why you have chronic diarrhea, abdominal pain, frequent constipation, unexplained weight loss, anemia or changes in your bowel movements or habits.
How do I prepare for a colonoscopy in Troy?
You'll take laxatives as recommended by your doctor to prepare for your colonoscopy. Although this step can be a little unpleasant, it's absolutely necessary to ensure that your doctor has a clear view of your colon and small intestine.
Is it time for your first colonoscopy? Call your Troy, MI gastroenterologists at Gastrointestinal Specialists, PC, at (248) 273-9930 to schedule an appointment to discuss this important procedure. Protect your colon health with a colonoscopy!