Cancer

Colonoscopies: Saving One Life at a Time


Monday, March 02, 2015

Why should I get a colonoscopy?

Over the past few years, more attention has been given to preventative health services.  Colonoscopy remains one of the smartest prevention or wellness tests you can have.  Recent studies have shown that people who undergo routine colonoscopies reduce their risk of colon cancer by a significant amount.  Colonoscopy offers both early detection of colon cancer and prevention against colon cancer.  Early detection of colon cancer, much like early detection of breast, prostate, or lung cancer, allows for much better survival rates.  Simply stated, today people are getting colon cancer diagnosed at earlier stages and are living longer with the disease.  Prevention of colon cancer is accomplished through detection and removal of pre-cancerous polyps.   All of this can be achieved by getting a colonoscopy – it could save your life!

How often should I get a colonoscopy?

Follow up colonoscopies will vary depending on individual findings and physician preference.  Most everyone should have a colonoscopy starting at age 50.  If you’re colonoscopy is normal it should be repeated every 10 years at a minimum.  If you have polyps your doctor will decide the appropriate interval to repeat your exam.  If you have a family history of colon cancer you should undergo early screening at least by age 40 and have your colonoscopy repeated more often than the normal 10 year interval.

 

Dr. Carter BalartJ. Carter Balart, MD
Specializing in Gastroenterology