Colon Cancer Screening in Tulsa, OK
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What is a colon cancer screening?
A colon cancer screening is a routine colonoscopy that is recommended beginning at the age of 50 for the general population and the age of 45 for African Americans as the risk of colon cancer rises by 90%. For individuals who have a family history of colon cancer, routine colon cancer screenings should begin when they are ten years younger than the family member who received his/her diagnosis. A colonoscopy is the “gold standard” for colon cancer screening, as it both prevents and detects colon cancer. To speak to a Tulsa, OK GI provider about scheduling a colon cancer screening, request a consultation at your nearest Adult Gastroenterology Associates today.
What are the benefits of a colon cancer screening?
Undergoing routine screenings for colon and rectal cancer is very important to your general and digestive health. Some of the advantages of colorectal cancer screenings involve:
- Identify and excise precancerous growths (polyps) in the colon and rectum
- Identify other gastrointestinal conditions, like inflammatory bowel disease
- Potentially identify colon or rectal cancer early on
- Potentially prevent colon cancer from developing
- May be a life-saving exam
Colon and rectal cancer may not present signs or symptoms until the disease advances. Having screenings regularly can help your physician detect any concerns as soon as possible.
Who needs a colon cancer screening?
Everyone aged 50 or older needs a colon cancer screening. Ninety percent of colon cancer cases are diagnosed in people over the age of 50, which is why routine screening colonoscopies are recommended for this age group. However, there are some individuals who need to be screened for colon cancer earlier than age 50 and sometimes with greater frequency, depending on their medical and family history.
Some individuals will need to get routine colon cancer screenings before the age of 50. You should get screened for colon cancer if:
- You are African American and over the age of 45
- You have a family history of polyps or colon cancer
- You are over the age of 50 and have never had a colonoscopy
- You are due for your routine screening based on your personal history
If you believe it is time to be screened for colon cancer, contact an Adult Gastroenterology Associates near you to request a consultation.
What is the prep for colon cancer screening?
Usually, the prep for a colon cancer screening is the same as the preparation for a traditional colonoscopy. You will need to review your colonoscopy prep instructions more than 72 hours in advance of your procedure, as colonoscopy prep regimens may begin as many as 36 hours prior to your procedure. Your Tulsa, OK provider will discuss the exact details of your prep during your consultation.
Colonoscopy prep requires changes to your diet and consumption of a prescribed prep mixture. Follow your prep instructions exactly as instructed by your provider. Failure to complete your colonoscopy prep as detailed by your provider may result in the rescheduling of your procedure.
If you have questions about your colonoscopy prep instructions, contact your provider's office immediately to avoid any delays in beginning your prep regimen.
Take control of your GI health
Colon cancer can be prevented. If you are eligible for a colon cancer screening or your provider has prescribed a colonoscopy, please contact your nearest Adult Gastroenterology Associates location to request a consultation. Our Tulsa, OK providers are ready to help. Take the steps necessary to ensure that you are maintaining optimal health.
Colon Cancer Screening FAQs
Why is screening for colon cancer important?
Colon cancer typically develops from abnormal growths in the colon or rectum, referred to as polyps. With a colonoscopy exam, these precancerous polyps can be removed to help lower the risk of and potentially even prevent colon cancer from occurring. Regular colon cancer screenings can also allow doctors to detect cancer that has already progressed. If colon or rectal cancer is caught early, it can be easier to treat.
When should I start undergoing colon cancer screenings?
It is recommended that adults who are at average risk start periodic colon cancer screenings at age 45. Patients with a greater risk may require screenings before this age. Your GI doctor can help you determine at what age you should start screening for colon cancer.
How frequently should I undergo a screening for colon cancer?
The frequency with which people should schedule colorectal cancer screenings can vary according to the type of exam being conducted. Generally, individuals who are age 45 and over should undergo a colonoscopy exam once every ten years when they carry an average risk of colorectal cancer and have colonoscopies with normal results. Individuals with a significantly high risk should have colonoscopy exams at least once every five years. Please speak with your GI specialist to determine how often you should undergo a colorectal cancer screening.
How should I prepare for my colon cancer screening?
The best way to prep for a colon cancer screening will vary according to the form of screening you are having. When undergoing a colonoscopy screening, certain prep instructions to clear out your bowel will be provided by your GI team before your exam. Your gastroenterologist may also provide additional directions to follow in the days leading up to your screening. It is important to follow your physician's instructions to help make certain they can identify any areas of concern during your screening.
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