When to Start Getting Routine Colonoscopies
June 01, 2017
Category: Uncategorized
Tags: Colonoscopies  

Are you at the age in which you should be coming in for this colorectal screening?colonoscopies

According to the American Cancer Society, colorectal cancer is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer in both men and women. Since colorectal cancer can happen to anyone (even though there are certain factors that may increase your chances of developing this form of cancer) our Lima, OH, gastroenterologists recommend routine colonoscopies. Find out if it’s time you started to get this screening test.

What is the purpose of a colonoscopy?

A colonoscopy is the best way for our Lima GI doctor to be able to check the health of the colon to look for any changes, polyps or other issues that may signal that you have or may develop colon cancer. While there are other tests that can be performed, none are as accurate as being able to actually see and inspect the colon.

During a colonoscopy, a small flexible tube with a camera attached is inserted into the rectum and carefully guided into the colon (large intestines). The camera allows us to look for polyps, inflammation, bleeding or other problems that need to be addressed. If polyps are detected, we can also remove them during your colonoscopy.

Who should be getting a colonoscopy and how regularly?

While anyone can develop colorectal cancer, it seems that there are certain factors that may increase your chances of developing this cancer including:

  • Being African-American
  • Having a family history of colorectal cancer
  • Having a personal or family history of precancerous polyps
  • Being over the age of 50 (unless you are African-American, in which case you will want to start getting screened at 45)
  • Leading a sedentary lifestyle
  • Consuming a diet high in processed foods and red meat and low in fiber
  • Having Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis or other inflammatory bowel problems
  • Being overweight
  • Using tobacco
  • Heavy alcohol consumption

Once you turn 50 years old, you should be coming in for your first routine colonoscopy. If your colonoscopy results come back clean and healthy then we probably won’t need to do another one for 10 years. However, if you do have risk factors, we may need to repeat this screening more regularly.

If you need to schedule your colonoscopy then turn to the gastrointestinal specialists at The Endoscopy Center of West Central Ohio for the diagnostic and preventive care you need to keep your gastrointestinal tract happy and healthy.