Screening Can Save Your Life

If you’re 45 or older, it’s time to get screened for colon cancer, because this screening could save your life. Colon cancer is one of the most commonly diagnosed cancers and is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the nation. It is also one of the most preventable. While a colonoscopy is the gold standard of colon cancer screening, there are other options. Talk with your doctor. Then, schedule your screening with us by calling 920-320-3744.

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Don’t Just Detect — Prevent Colon Cancer

Colon cancer starts as a precancerous growth. During a colonoscopy, a gastroenterologist can not only find these growths, but also remove them, preventing cancer from ever developing. Precancerous polyps are slow-growing. If you have had precancerous polyps, your doctor will typically recommend you have another colonoscopy in three to seven years, depending on your specific situation – the number of polyps, their types and sizes.

There are other ways to screen for colon cancer that you can consider if you are at average risk for colon cancer. Fecal screening methods you do at home will detect a percentage of large polyps, which are the most likely to turn into cancer. They also detect blood and/or DNA markers in the stool that are connected with polyps and colon cancer. A sigmoidoscopy is similar to a colonoscopy but it looks at the lower part of the colon rather than the entire large intestine.

You should know that if polyps or potential tumors are detected with any of these colonoscopy alternatives, your doctor will recommend a colonoscopy. During a colonoscopy, polyps or tumors are removed and sent to pathology to be evaluated. If any growth is positive for cancer, appropriate treatment can begin right away. Finding cancer early before it spreads gives you more treatment options and a better chance of a positive outcome.

If no high-risk features are found during your first colonoscopy or other cancer screening — which should be done at age 45 if you are at average risk of developing colon cancer — you can wait 10 years between colon cancer screenings.

No matter which colon cancer screening you choose, get screened starting at age 45 and continue until age 75. If you have a personal or family history of colon cancer, hereditary inflammatory colon cancer bowel disease, or polyps – or unusual symptoms or other concerning factors – your doctor may recommend a different screening schedule.

How a Colonoscopy Works

People are sometimes apprehensive when considering a colonoscopy for their colon cancer screening. Our caring gastroenterology team will walk you through the entire process and make the experience as easy as possible. Despite what you may have heard, the colonoscopy procedure is simple, quick and painless. And with advancements in the process, there are better-tasting prep drinks that you need to drink less of to clean out your colon in preparation for your colonoscopy.

Colonoscopy Screenings at No Cost to You

Colon cancer screenings are a covered insurance benefit under most insurance plans beginning at age 45, meaning they should be covered at 100%—your deductible should not apply. Any diagnostic tests or treatment you may need after a screening can be billed to your insurance. If you have questions, contact your insurance provider before screening or diagnostic tests, or treatment.

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