Even though the waning month of March is Colon Cancer Awareness Month, Carina Gill explains what we should heed all year long. She is a physician assistant with Carle’s Digestive Health Institute.
Some risk factors of Colon Cancer affect both men and women, is the third most common cancer, the second common cause of cancer death, one in 20 will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer.
Individuals beginning at the age of 50, then usually every 3 to 10 years after should be screened for colorectal cancer. An individual should be screen prior to age 50 if there is rectal bleeding, have inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), or have a family history.
It’s important to get screened as Colon Cancer may not create symptoms until it’s advanced. 60% of Colon Cancer deaths can be prevented with proper screening and early detection, however, only about 60% of people get screened.
There are a few things that need to be done before a colonoscopy, such as the colon and rectum need to be clear before the test, a special diet and laxatives maybe needed to be done prior to the colonoscopy. A sedative is used during the procedure, so the patient will need to have someone with them to drive them home. The test itself with take about 30 minutes.
There are many individuals who are afraid to go through the process of a colonoscopy. Some facts about the process: Both Male and Female physicians perform colonoscopies, the exam is low risk, the individual is comfortable during the exam, and it is more than likely the individual won’t remember the procedure at all. There is also an at home test, that you can take in the comforts of your own home.
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