Why Is It Important to Have an Initial Colonoscopy Screening?

Among the most effective methods for guarding against or finding colon cancer early as possible is ensuring you have regular colonoscopy screenings. Unfortunately, approximately one-half of eligible adults have not undergone an initial colonoscopy. As recommended by the American Cancer Society (ACS), those having an average chance of developing colon cancer should receive periodic screenings starting at 45 years old.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), millions of people in the United States are not undergoing colorectal cancer screenings as recommended, losing out on the opportunity for identifying the condition in the early stages. To learn whether you qualify for an initial colonoscopy test, speak with the team at San Antonio Gastroenterology Associates to set up a consultation. Our expert GI doctors regularly conduct colonoscopies for San Antonio, TX individuals.

What can I expect with a colonoscopy screening?

A colonoscopy is a form of colorectal cancer assessment that consists of a narrow, flexible scope containing a mini camera. The device is introduced into the rectum and then into the colon by a San Antonio Gastroenterology Associates gastrointestinal specialist to assess for polyps or other abnormal tissue that might be present. If anything out of the ordinary is found, it often can be taken off during the procedure and sent for further testing. Individuals are given a rapid-acting, safe sedative prior to the screening to help them to remain relaxed and comfortable.

What happens in the wake of a colonoscopy screening?

After your first colonoscopy procedure is finished and the anesthesia begins to dissipate, our San Antonio, TX gastrointestinal team will go over any discoveries with you. Should we discover an issue that calls for a more extensive evaluation, we will craft a detailed treatment approach individualized for your healthcare needs. We recommend that you have a friend or relative drive you home following your procedure. Once all impacts of the anesthesia have subsided, you should be able to get back to your daily routine and diet within a 24-hour period. In some instances, patients have mild aftereffects, including abdominal cramps, excess gas, and bloating over the next few days. Should you be affected by extreme discomfort, bleeding, or fever, please seek medical care immediately.

How frequently should I receive a colonoscopy procedure?

Experts advise that people who have an average chance of colon cancer start to receive screenings when they are 45 years old. Routine colonoscopy examinations should be performed every ten years up through age 75. After age 75, each person should speak with their GI doctor regarding screening procedures ideal for their healthcare requirements.

Why else do doctors recommend periodic colorectal cancer screenings?

Though a colonoscopy can detect initial colorectal cancer, the process can also help doctors diagnose potential reasons for other GI issues, including chronic fluctuation in bowel habits (constipation and/or loose stools), hemorrhoids, reasons for anorectal/abdominal pain, anemia and bleeding, and unexplained or sudden weight loss. The highly trained GI doctors at San Antonio Gastroenterology Associates use advanced technology and processes to detect and address a myriad of diseases affecting digestive health and wellness.

Where can I arrange for my initial colonoscopy in San Antonio, TX?

Regular screenings for colorectal cancer are the leading process for identifying this GI disease. If you are 45 years old or older and carry an average risk of colon cancer, we encourage you to schedule your initial colonoscopy screening at San Antonio Gastroenterology Associates as soon as you can. To set up a visit with one of our San Antonio, TX digestive health specialists, contact our team today.