What your gastroenterologist in Houston, Texas wants you to know.
Having a colonoscopy is the best way to screen for colon cancer and the best time to start routine screenings is typically when you are 50 years old. Dr. Vikram Jayanty in Houston, Texas wants to share the facts about when you should have a colonoscopy and why the test is so important.
Once you reach the age of 50, a colonoscopy becomes a vital tool to keep you healthy. The test screens for colon cancer and it can save your life. Colorectal cancer is rated third among the most common causes of death due to cancer.
If your colon is healthy, with no evidence of tissue abnormalities, you should have a colonoscopy every 10 years after your initial test. If your doctor finds evidence of abnormalities, you should have the test every 5 to 10 years after the initial test.
Colon cancer prevention isn’t the only reason to have a colonoscopy. Your doctor may recommend a colonoscopy if you experience:
- Abdominal pain
- Blood in your stool
- Bleeding from your rectum
- Recurrent constipation or diarrhea
A colonoscopy typically takes about 45 minutes and is performed in an outpatient setting. You will be sedated during the procedure, so plan on spending 2 to 3 hours for the test and bring someone with you to drive you home.
During the procedure, a thin, flexible tube with a tiny camera attached is inserted into your rectum and moved up through your colon. The camera allows your doctor to view your colon and look for abnormal growths or tissue. Your doctor can remove any polyps or growths or take a small sample of tissue for biopsy.
Colon cancer screening is a vital tool to ensure you enjoy a lifetime of good health. According to the American Cancer Society, colorectal cancer kills more than 49,000 people in the United States each year, so it’s time to take prevention seriously and schedule your colon cancer screening. For more information about colon cancer screening and other gastrointestinal services call Dr. Vikram Jayanty in Houston, Texas today!