A colonoscopy is a safe outpatient procedure that allows a physician to examine a person’s rectum and intestine for polyps and the presence of colon cancer. A typical colonoscopy takes about 30 minutes and is accompanied by medication to allow a person to be comfortable during testing. Once the colonoscopy has begun, if a doctor finds a polyp, they can easily remove it. Doctors will also biopsy suspicious-looking tissue for additional testing.
The Importance of Screening
Colonoscopies and other screenings that test for colorectal cancers are vitally important tests as colorectal cancers are the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths for men and women in the United States, according to the American Cancer Society. Colon cancer is also one of the most preventable forms of cancer because testing not only detects colon cancer in its earliest stages, but it can prevent colorectal cancers from ever occurring by removing polyps before they become cancerous.
Prevention is extremely important when it comes to colon cancer. Often, colon cancer presents no noticeable symptoms until it is has advanced to later stages of the disease, at which point treatment options are more complex and limited than they are earlier stages of the disease. Symptoms of colon cancer include:
- Weakness and fatigue
- Cramping or abdominal (belly) pain
- Rectal bleeding, dark stools, or blood in the stool
- A feeling that you need to have a bowel movement that is not relieved by doing so
- A change in bowel habits, such as diarrhea, constipation, or narrowing of the stool that lasts for more than a few days
- Unintended weight loss
Make an Appointment
The Endoscopy/Procedure Center is home to state-of-the-art technology used to detect a wide array of digestive problems, such as acid reflux, stomach ulcers, inflammatory bowel disease such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease, colon polyps, early signs of cancers and more. Call 734-458-3343 for more information or if you need assistance scheduling your appointment. Need a GCH Health Expert? Visit Find a Physician or call 877-717-9355.