This simple diagnostic test could help us detect the early signs of colorectal cancer.
Colorectal cancer can happen to both men and women. In many cases, you won’t even experience symptoms until the cancer has already advanced. Therefore, the most effective way to detect colorectal cancer early on is through routine colonoscopies. Wondering whether or not it’s time to schedule a colonoscopy with one of our Miami gastroenterologists? You should consider getting a colonoscopy if,
You Just Turned 50 Years Old
If you just turned 50 years old then one of the things to put on the top of your to-do list should be a colonoscopy. This rule applies to both men and women. If our Miami GI doctors do not detect any adenomas or colon polyps during your first colonoscopy and you don’t have any risk factors then you may not need to come in for your next colon cancer screening for another 10 years.
Of course, if we find one or two adenomas or polyps, you may need to come in more often for colonoscopies (about every 5 years). Routine colonoscopies usually aren’t required once you reach 75 years old.
You are at Risk for Colorectal Cancer
There are certain habits and factors that can increase your chances of developing colorectal cancer. It’s important to understand the risks. These risks include:
- Heavy alcohol consumption
- A sedentary lifestyle
- A poor diet or a diet rich in fatty foods
- Inflammatory bowel disease (e.g. Crohn’s disease; ulcerative colitis)
- Family history of colorectal cancer or polyps
- Personal history with colorectal polyps
- Being obese
You are Experiencing Certain Gastrointestinal Issues
While it’s common to deal with some gastrointestinal problems every once in a while it’s important to know when it’s time to schedule an appointment with one of our gastroenterologists. It might be time for a colonoscopy if you are noticing any bowel changes that have lasted more than two weeks, or if you are dealing with,
- Blood in the stool
- Abdominal pain
- Constipation or diarrhea
- Trouble with bowel movements
- Dark or narrow stools
If you are noticing any of these symptoms it’s important that you don’t just ignore them. During your evaluation we can determine whether or not a colonoscopy is necessary.
Is it time to schedule your first colonoscopy? If so, call Digestive Medicine Associates in Miami today. We provide comprehensive gastrointestinal services to the Hialeah, Coral Gables, Kendall, and Pembroke Pines, FL, areas.