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Colonoscopy: How Often And Why?

You definitely might have heard of the term ‘colonoscopy’ but might be unaware of the meaning. Colonoscopy is the most accurate test for finding colon cancer. It is proven to detect the colon cancer in its early stage and thus save lives.

During the process, a long flexible tube is inserted into the rectum. A tiny video camera at the end of the tube allows the doctor to have a detailed internal view of the colon. If necessary, the tissue samples are taken, or abnormal tissues are removed during colonoscopy.

But, why is colonoscopy done? What is achieved after the colonoscopy? Well, we will walk you through it.

Colonoscopy: Why is it done?

As mentioned earlier, colonoscopy is a screening test for colorectal cancer. This type of cancer originates in the colon or the rectum, situated in the large intestine. Most colon cancers won’t have symptoms until the cells have spread to other parts of the body. That is why screening is so crucial, it’s successful in detecting the cancer and is often the only way to know.

With modern medication and advanced technology, the colon is detected using a ‘scope’. The tubular instrument, of about half an inch diameter, transmits an image of the colon. Having said that, with the help of that image the doctor will be able to examine the colon and then decide on the further treatment.

The scope blows a waft of air into the colon and enlarges it, ensuring a better picture. Patients are sedated during the procedure and often don’t even feel a thing!

Colonoscopy allows accurate diagnosis. It paves the path for deciding on the treatment and medication. All things considered, colonoscopy is your key solution to detect a cancer of the colon.

Now that you have understood why it is to be done, there is still the question of how often to get one.

Colonoscopy: Who needs it and how often?

Generally, it is recommended that if you are at an average risk of cancer, you need to get the colonoscopy done 10 times on an average, after the age of 45. The procedure can be performed for the people who have an increased risk of cancer, with a family history of –

If these cases persist, or if a polyp has been found, a more frequent testing will be needed. Along with this, you also might have to undergo stool tests. This ensures that better results are yielded after deciding on the treatment.

Most colorectal cancer starts as polyps. The progression from a single polyp to a cancer is believed to take at least 10 years or more. However, physicians and doctors recommend taking the screening as soon as possible to be on the safer side. The screening will detect cancer at its earliest and make it treatable.

Lastly, make sure that you consult an experienced and a credible physician to take your tests. This will ensure that he or she is equipped to handle all your potential problems.

If your doctor recommends you a colonoscopy, don’t be worried. Dr. Navarez with the Digestive and Liver Disease Center of San Antonio is a leader in colon cancer procedures and treatments. Have the best colon cancer treatment in San Antonio right at your doorstep. Give us a call at 210-961-1164. We are here to help you and surf through the process with ease.

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