Do I need to have a Colon Cancer Screening?
Colon cancer is one of the most preventable cancers, and yet it is the second most common cause of cancer death in our country. Every year close to 50 thousand people die of it and another 120 thousand will be diagnosed with it. Fact is with timely intervention, 90% of these cancers could be prevented! So YES, you need a screening done if you are the age of 50 or have family history of it. Colon cancer sometimes has no symptoms!
How can I prevent colon cancer?
People do not realize that over 90% of the colon cancers grow out of precancerous lesion called polyes in the colon. It takes several years from polyp to go into cancer stage. This is the window of opportunity folks! A preventive or screening colonoscopy will detect the polyps before they turn into cancer or at the very early stage of cancer called "dysplasia". As long as it is removed in these stages, one can prevent the colon cancer. Colonoscopy is the only procedure that can not only diagnose the polyps but also at the same time remove it, thus eliminating the problem before it can turn into cancer.
When should I consider getting a colon cancer screening?
If you have no risk factors, colon cancer screening should be done as soon as you turn 50 years old. In our office we call it " the fifty thousand mile checkup!". But if you have risk factors, it should be done earlier than 50 years of age.
What are the risk factors requiring early colon cancer screening?
Some of the risk factors are- family history of colo-rectal cancer, family history of polyps, Ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease, Familial polyposis, Peutz-Jeger's disease etc.
What does colon cancer screening mean?
Screening means that you have no problems what so ever. You would like to come in and have a colon screening done because you have turned 50 years of age without showing any signs of abdominal concerns or rectal discomfort. That is why colon cancer is such a silent killer. You might not have family history or problems regarding your colon, but that does not eliminate you from having the polyps in your colon. That is why your primary care physician and your insurance companies encourage you to get a screening done as soon as you turn 50 years of age. If precancerous lesion can be removed at its early stage from your colon, then you have just saved your life.
There are no tell-tell signs for some people when it comes to colon cancer. You must do it for yourself whether you feel anything or not.
What is the difference between a Diagnostic Colonoscopy and Colon Cancer Screening ?
Both require you to have a Colonoscopy, but the difference is that you would be showing signs of problems, which require the physician to take a diagnostic approach to resolve your concerns. Some people have symptoms like bleeding, bowel habit change, abdominal pain or other abdominal symptoms. When you have symptoms then you may need a Colonoscopy irrespective of your age or family history. Because you have some symptoms or problems it is not screening any more, it is called Diagnostic Colonoscopy.
Where can I go to get a Colon Cancer Screening done?
Doctor Meah and Le at Your G.I. Center are experts at doing Colonoscopy. Our centers are conveniently located with no parking cost or traffic congestion. The center specializes and focuses on Colonoscopy, removal of polyp or other lesions in a wellness environment. At Your G.I. Center thousands of colonsocopies have been done by our team of competent doctors, nurses and techs because we focus on one thing, providing you with the best care when it comes to your screening. Our State of the Art Surgery centers have all the latest equipment and cutting edge technology. Your screening is done with privacy, efficiency and in an extremely comfortable painless condition. In fact many of our patient’s ask us, "When will my procedure be done? " after the colonoscopy had already been done and they are in the recovery room!
How expensive is it to have a Colonoscopy or Colon Cancer Screening done?
In Texas, all insurances cover the cost of preventive Colonoscopy and in fact some of the plans cover 100% of the cost. Generally the cost is much lower in Your G.I. Center compared to a hospital when you go for your screening. We are in network with most of the major plans and will do a pre-certification prior to scheduling you for any procedure for your benefit plan.
What does the doctor think about Colon Cancer Screening?
"In this day and age, no one should be deprived of the benefit of colon cancer screening and there is no reason for not preventing 90% of the colon cancer in this country," states Dr. Meah. But the success of preventing this disease lies in the cooperative efforts of both physicians and general public. Give yourself or your family member a "Gift of life". Colonoscopy saves lives. Call Your G.I. Center if you need any further information.