Colon cancer kills more than 50,000 Americans this year. It’s the second highest leading cause of cancer deaths, worldwide. Yet still only a third of adults have the simple screening that can catch colorectal cancer in its early and most treatable stages. Adults should begin to have a colonoscopy every five years starting around the age of 50, earlier and more frequently if the patient has a family history of cancer.
But still, approximately 23 million Americans increase their risk each year by not making appointments for these screenings. And why? People make plenty of excuses including:
However, people do need to have a colonoscopy to screen for this cancer that is 90% avoidable when caught and treated in its early stages. Most insurance companies cover the cost of routine preventative care including screenings. A colonoscopy might take up a few hours of your day, but the procedure itself only takes about 30 minutes. As for the procedure, the physicians and technicians who perform the test do this several times a day. You have nothing to be embarrassed about. At Gate Gastroenterology Associates of the East Bay, patients receive the highest possible care ensuring their comfort throughout the procedure.
And the procedure is not that scary. Before it begins, patients are given instructions and a laxative so that their bowels are clean. Then when they arrive for the procedure itself, a mild sedative is administered to help the patient relax and minimize any discomfort or embarrassment he or she might feel during the process. For the process itself, the physician will guide a thin tube with a tiny camera and a light mounted on the end into the colon. The camera then sends images to a video screen allowing the doctor to see inside the colon. The colon is slightly inflated to allow a better view of the internal tissues. If the doctor sees anything abnormal, a small biopsy can be taken with the same tool. When the procedure is complete, the patient is taken to a recovery room for the sedative to wear off and for the air used to inflate the colon to escape the body. Patients will need someone to drive them home, but overall this is a simple procedure that will not take much of your day.
Make sure you schedule your colonoscopy and stay up to date with your screenings. Early detection is essential to effective treatment and care. Make your appointment with Dr. Mehra Hosseini at Gate Gastroenterology Associates of the East Bay. Gastroenterology Associates has years of experience in providing state of the art care to patients from all over the Bay area who suffer from GI issues. Based in Berkeley, CA, Gastroenterology Associates, is one of the leading gastroenterologists in the California, and wants to help her community ensure their ongoing health and wellbeing stay at optimal levels.