Delaying a colonoscopy could put your health in great jeopardy—are you overdue for this diagnostic procedure? Here at Digestive Medicine Associates in Miami, Hialeah, Coral Gables, Kendall, and Pembroke Pines, FL, your gastroenterologists use colonoscopies to diagnose and treat a variety of diseases and conditions, including cancer. Read on to learn more about why this treatment is so important to your overall health.
I'm in good health. Do I really need a colonoscopy?
Colonoscopies are still important, even if you think that you feel totally fine. After all, as we grow older, our risk of colon cancer exponentially increases. Unfortunately, colon cancer doesn't usually cause any symptoms until it's very advanced and more difficult to treat.
Colonoscopies allow your gastroenterologist to not only see cancerous lesions, but also to spot and remove polyps without the need for surgery. Polyps are small growths that form on the lining of your colon and intestines, and although many are benign, some may turn out to be pre-cancerous or cancerous. Scheduling a colonoscopy when you turn 45 is a simple way to lower your cancer risk and receive prompt treatment should you receive a cancer diagnosis.
I thought I didn't need a colonoscopy until I was 50!
Last year, the American Cancer Society began recommending that people at average risk of colorectal cancer receive their first colonoscopy at age 45 rather than 50. The change was prompted by the increasing number of cancer cases in younger people.
What happens during a colonoscopy?
During the procedure, your gastroenterologist inserts a thin, flexible scope into your anus and passes it through your large intestine and lower part of the small intestine. The scope contains a light and a tiny camera that transmits images of the lining of your intestines to a digital monitor.
You'll need to take laxatives the day before your colonoscopy to ensure that your doctor has a clear view of your intestinal walls. Although this part of the process is a little unpleasant, it's absolutely essential and will ensure that your gastroenterologist in Miami, Hialeah, Coral Gables, Kendall, or Pembroke Pines can easily see anything out of the ordinary in your intestines.
Time for a colonoscopy? Give us a call
A colonoscopy offers important benefits for your health. Call your gastroenterologists at Digestive Medicine Associates in Miami, Hialeah, Coral Gables, Kendall, and Pembroke Pines, FL, at (305) 822-4107 to make an appointment today.