When Do I Need a Colonoscopy?

When Do I Need a Colonoscopy?

Find out when a colonoscopy is performed and how it can protect against colorectal cancer.

Chances are you’ve heard about colonoscopies. After all, it’s a common procedure that is most often performed on older adults to screen for colorectal cancer. It’s the number one tool that our Miami gastroenterologists have at their disposal to be able to catch colorectal issues early on. Here are the top reasons why you may need a colonoscopy,

You just turned 50

Happy Birthday to you! One present you probably didn’t expect to get was a routine colonoscopy. While it probably won’t be the most exciting present that you receive it may be one of the most valuable. After all, a colonoscopy can detect colorectal cancer early and also remove colon polyps to prevent colorectal cancer. Since the risk for colorectal cancer increases with age it’s important that men and women start seeing their Miami GI doctor at least once every 10 years for a routine colonoscopy.

You have a family history of colorectal cancer

If you have a family history of colorectal cancer then you may want to speak with your doctor about whether or not you should start getting screened before 50 years old. Since colorectal cancer has genetic risk factors it’s important that you get screened as soon as possible. It’s recommended that you get your first screening about 10 years before your family member was diagnosed with colorectal cancer, but speak with your doctor to find out when to start getting tested.

You have symptoms of colorectal cancer

While many of the symptoms associated with colorectal cancer are often caused by other less worrisome problems it’s still important for our doctor to be able to find out right away what’s causing your symptoms. You should come in for an evaluation if you are experiencing these symptoms,

  • Diarrhea
  • Bloody stools
  • Abdominal pain
  • Bowel changes
  • Unexpected weight loss
  • Fatigue

Most people won’t experience symptoms until the later stages of colorectal cancer, which is why screenings are still important even if you aren’t experiencing symptoms.

You are dealing with stomach problems

Dealing with persistent diarrhea? Experiencing painful stomach cramps that don’t seem to be going away? If you’ve been experiencing these symptoms for days or even weeks at a time it’s important that you see a gastroenterologist here in Miami who can determine whether a colonoscopy may help with a diagnosis. Along with colon polyps, colonoscopies can be used to detect intestinal bleeding, ulcers, inflammation within the lining and other problems that could be to blame.

If you are experiencing unusual GI symptoms, know that you can see one of our gastroenterologists in person or through a simple telehealth visit. We have offices in Hialeah, Coral Gables, Pembroke Pines and Miami, FL. If you need to schedule a routine colonoscopy with us, then call Digestive Medicine Associates at (305) 822-4107.

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