The month of March is colorectal screening awareness month. In light of the importance of getting screening annually, we thought it was important to spread some awareness and explain the importance of why exactly men should be getting screened.
Colorectal cancer, also known as colon cancer, originates in the colon and is the third most common cancer in both men and women in the U.S. Colon cancer typically occurs in individuals over the age of 50 and unfortunately, one in 22 men and one in 24 women will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer in their lifetime.
Most colon cancer cases can be prevented through regular screening, and after the age of 50 you should be getting screened every 5-10 years (more often if polyps or abnormal growths have been found in the past). Colonoscopy’s find these polyps and abnormal growths and when found early can be removed before they turn to cancer.
Unfortunately, colon cancer usually presents no symptoms or hints of the growths you may be experiencing, which is why getting screened in the time frame recommended by your doctor is so important.
A colonoscopy explained according to CancerCare.org:
A colonoscopy is the best screening test available for colorectal cancer. It is the only screening test that also prevents many colorectal cancers. Here are a few things you should know about this test:
- During a colonoscopy, your doctor examines the lining of your entire colon to check for polyps or tumors. If any polyps are found, they can be removed immediately.
- On the day of the colonoscopy, you will receive medication to help you relax. Most people fall asleep and do not remember much about the test when they wake up.
- Your doctor performs a colonoscopy by inserting a long, thin, flexible tube called a colonoscope, into your colon through the rectum. The tube has a tiny video camera and light at the end that sends images to a video monitor which the doctor examines.
- Before the procedure, you will receive instructions from your doctor on what to eat and how to empty your bowel.
- Both men and women should have a colonoscopy starting at age 50. People at increased risk of colorectal cancer may start earlier, depending on your doctor’s instructions. Also, your doctor will tell you in how many years you will need another colonoscopy.
If you are in the Little Rock area and need a colorectal screening, please fill out the form below~