Why Should I Have a Colorectal Cancer Screening?
What is the best way to keep your colon healthy? You are definitely not alone if you're questioning where to begin when it comes to learning about your colon health. Adequate amounts of physical activity, good nutrition, and routine health evaluations are some of the approaches to protect your health and wellness as you become older. Colon cancer is among the most commonly occurring yet preventable cancers thanks to the tests available for detecting this health concern. Learning about your colon health could be as simple as requesting a visit at Adult Gastroenterology Associates. Our Tulsa, OK gastrointestinal (GI) specialists can help you take the first step toward a healthy future.
Why are colon and rectal cancer screenings important?
Per the American Cancer Society (ACS), colorectal cancer affects around 4% of adults in the United States. That is about 1 in 25 people. However, colon cancer is preventable when caught in the initial stages.
The majority of colon cancers start as a growth (clump of cellular material) on the internal wall of the rectum or colon (large intestine). These growths are referred to as polyps. It is uncommon to have symptoms with polyps, meaning an examination is key to identifying them. When you schedule regular colon cancer screenings, you’re helping preserve your general and GI health by having those growths removed before they become malignant. It is also important to have a colorectal cancer screening should you experience one or more of the following concerns:
Why is colorectal cancer so prevalent?
There isn't a clear explanation of why colon cancer has become such a common disease over the years, but there are a few specific factors that may heighten the risk of developing the disease. Becoming informed and familiar with the risk factors associated with colorectal cancer can help you remain aware and make better choices for your health. Some of the risk factors for colon and rectal cancer include:
- Family history of colon or rectal cancer
- A personal history of colon or rectal cancer
- Having inflammatory bowel disease (ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease)
- A diet that includes a lot of processed meat
- A diet lacking fruits and vegetables
- A low-fat and high-fat diet
- Use of tobacco products
- Lack of exercise
We invite you to schedule an appointment with an Adult Gastroenterology Associates gastrointestinal specialist. Our Tulsa, OK providers can explain more about colon cancer and how you might set yourself up for a future of health.
How often should I have a colon cancer screening?
It is recommended that you obtain an initial colon screening beginning at 45 when you’re at an average risk for developing colon or rectal cancer and every ten years after that. The chance of polyps and colon cancer increases as you become older, meaning that the more colon cancer exams you have, the earlier a concern can be identified. Starting at age 75, you’ll need to undergo testing dependent upon your general health status and your GI provider's recommendations.
It is essential to know that having a personal or familial history of colon or rectal cancer or polyps places you in the category of significantly higher risk. If you’re in this significant high risk group, you’ll likely require a colonoscopy at least once every five years. It’s better to be aware of the status of your colon health and wellness rather than to question if you should schedule a GI visit. A routine assessment for colon cancer, best known as a colonoscopy, will typically take under an hour to complete. This test is an optimal way to review your colon health and determine any changes you need to make to keep your colon in good condition.
Schedule your colon cancer screening in Tulsa, OK today
Regular colon cancer screenings can safeguard your future health. The American Cancer Society reports that approximately 144,000 new cases of colorectal cancer are diagnosed on an annual basis. Help reduce that statistic today by setting up a colon cancer screening at Adult Gastroenterology Associates in Tulsa, OK. If you have concerns or questions about the screening, don't hesitate to discuss them with your gastrointestinal specialist during your consultation.