Colon Cancer Screening

Each year nearly 137,000 people are diagnosed with colon cancer in the United States and over 50,000 people die from it annually. This is the second leading cause of cancer death among men and women in the country. The disease, however, is mostly preventable with regular screening.

The gold standard test for colon cancer screening and prevention is a colonoscopy.

Colonoscopy is a common and very safe procedure that examines the lining of your lower intestinal tract, known as the colon.  It is a very comfortable exam because it is performed with intravenous sedation, so you are sleeping during the test. Most patients are not even aware that the procedure occurred when they wake up. Your doctor will use a thin flexible tube (“the scope”) with a light and miniature TV camera on the tip to examine the colon.

Most colon cancer comes from precancerous polyps. During your colonoscopy your doctor will identify polyps and safely and painlessly remove them using various miniature tools through the scope. This prevents them from developing into cancer. The ability to remove such precancerous growths before they become cancer has made colon cancer one of the most preventable cancers in the world.

Recent data show colon cancer incidence rates in the U.S have dropped by 30% in the last 10 years alone, due to the increasingly widespread use of colonoscopy.

If you are over 50, or are younger and have a family history of colon cancer or colon polyps, talk to your doctor about getting screened today.  Screening saves lives.

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