If you are approaching the age of 45, you may be wondering, why do I need to get a colonoscopy? For starters, it could save your life. If that doesn’t move you to set one up, we will give you several additional reasons.
Let That Sink In
Although there are other reasons to get a colonoscopy, the most valuable reason is that it could save your life. Let’s share some cold hard facts.
Colorectal cancer is the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths in men and women. In January 2021 the American Cancer Society estimated there would be 104,270 new cases of colon cancer and 45,230 new cases of rectal cancer. The good news is that rates have been dropping because of the increased screenings, like colonoscopy.
The bad news is colorectal cancers are increasing in younger adults, but let’s get back to our original question.
A Colonoscopy Both Prevents And Detects Cancer
You heard that right. Getting a colonoscopy can detect polyps before they can become cancerous. If polyps are found, we remove them during the procedure. Depending on how many, their type, and their size, you might not need another test for 10 years.
If polyps were found, this does increase your risk, and Digestive Health Services will set up a screening schedule just for you at our office in Downers Grove, IL.
Have You Reached 45 Years Of Age?
That’s a prime reason to schedule your first colonoscopy. Most cancers are found after age 45 and in older adults, but for the last decade, many younger adults seem to be getting diagnosed. Professionals recommend getting your first colonoscopy at age 45 if you have no risk factors and even earlier if you are at higher risk.
You Have Family Members Who Had Colon Cancer
If you have close family members who were diagnosed with colorectal cancer, this is another important reason to get one sooner rather than later. Almost one third of those who get colon cancer had family members who had it too.
This increases your risk, so make that appointment today.
Do You Have Symptoms?
Symptoms of colorectal cancer include: blood in the stool, unexplained weight loss, pain in the abdomen, and rectal bleeding. This should be enough reasons for you to schedule your colonoscopy. Don’t wait if you have these symptoms.
Other Risk Factors
There are a number of risk factors which should prompt you to schedule and keep up with colonoscopies as directed by Digestive Health Services.
- Being overweight and not active
- If you smoke or drink excessively
- You eat a lot of red meat
Consider all the reasons you should get a colonoscopy, and talk with Digestive Health Services about what other risk factors you may have which increase your chances for developing colon cancer.