A colonoscopy is a valuable screening tool that can help detect colon cancer during its earliest stages. The gastroenterologists at The Endoscopy Center of West Central Ohio, located in Lima, OH, share information about colonoscopies and why you may need it.
What is a colonoscopy?
A colonoscopy offers a way to view your large intestine and the first part of your small intestine without surgery. During a colonoscopy, a thin, lighted scope is inserted into your anus, and a miniature camera at the end of the scope sends images of the lining of your intestines to a digital screen. As your doctor passes the scope through your intestines, they examine the lining for polyps, tumors or signs of irritation and infection. Colonoscopies aren't just a diagnostic tool, your doctor can also remove polyps from the lining of your intestines during the procedure and take biopsies.
When are colonoscopies recommended by your Lima, OH gastroenterologists?
Colonoscopies are used to:
- Screen for Colon Cancer: If you're 50 or older, your doctor has probably recommended that you receive a colonoscopy. Fifty is the magic number because your risk of developing colon cancer increases as you age. Although some types of cancers cause symptoms in the early stages, colon cancer doesn't usually cause discomfort or other symptoms until it reaches the advanced stages. Screening colonoscopies detect cancer before worsening or spreading.
- Diagnose Diseases and Conditions: Do you experience frequent abdominal pain, bloating or other unpleasant gastrointestinal symptoms? Colonoscopies provide valuable information that can help your doctor determine the cause of pain, chronic constipation or diarrhea, anemia, bleeding from the rectum, weight loss or changes in your bowel movements or habits.
- Remove Polyps: You'll never know if you have polyps without a colonoscopy. The clumps of cells grow on your intestinal lining and can be seen very easily during the screening test. Polyps may be benign, pre-cancerous or cancerous. If your doctor sees any polyps during your colonoscopy, he'll remove them and send them to a laboratory for testing.
Protect your health with a colonoscopy. Call The Endoscopy Center of West Central Ohio, located in Lima, OH, at (419) 227-8209 to schedule your appointment.