A Word From Our Experts
Do you need a colonoscopy? If you are age 50 or older, the answer is a definite “YES!”
March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, and it’s time to get serious about a medical condition that costs the lives of more than 50,000 Americans every year.
Dr. Nitin Aggarwal
What is colorectal cancer and why is a colonoscopy important?
Colon and rectal cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer deaths in the United States. It kills more people than breast cancer and AIDS combined. Unfortunately, colon cancer is a silent killer. Very few people will experience signs or symptoms until the disease is advanced and treatment is more difficult.
A colonoscopy is a simple test, which can find cancer in its early stages. Treatment (if necessary) is often well tolerated and successful if any such lesions are found early enough. More importantly, a colonoscopy can even prevent cancer from developing so that you and your family never have to carry the burden of cancer.
How does it work?
A colonoscopy is the most advanced screening technique and is considered the “gold-standard” for colorectal cancer screening and prevention. The night before the exam, you will be prescribed a “bowel preparation” which helps ensure a high-quality test. With recent advances in medicine, most patients are much more comfortable with the bowel preparation than previously. At Union Hospital, our patients are offered state-of-the-art anesthesia services so that your colonoscopy is a completely comfortable and safe experience. After sedation, your physician will examine the entire colon to find any hidden tumors or growths which have the potential to turn into cancers (polyps). You will be discharged home and be back to most of your usual activities the same day.
Who needs to be tested?
40 percent of Americans who should be screened for colon cancer have not been tested. You should talk to your doctor about colon cancer screening if you:
- Are 50 or older and have never had a colonoscopy
- Have not had a colonoscopy in more than 10 years
- Have previously had polyps or colorectal cancer
- Have any family members who have suffered from colon polyps or colorectal cancer
So, what are you waiting for? Come in to talk to us about making sure that your colon health is up to date. Contact Union GI to schedule a colonoscopy at 410-398-8888.