According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States among both men and women. A colonoscopy is a relatively simple and non-invasive procedure used to detect changes or abnormalities in the large intestine (colon) and rectum. According to Jim Gray MD of Mississippi, getting colonoscopies is the best way to detect and prevent colon cancer. In this blog, he highlights the importance of the procedure.
A Colonoscopy is the Best Way to Detect Pre-cancerous Polyps
A colonoscopy is the most sensitive test for colorectal polyps. While polyps are not always cancerous, they can become cancer if not removed. Recent studies show that polyps are found in at least 25 percent of men and women over the age of 50 through colonoscopies. Jim Gray MD claims that if colorectal cancers are detected and treated at an early stage, they are highly curable.
Risk for CRC (Colon Cancer) is High for the Average American.
Most experts recommend that Americans begin getting colonoscopies at age 50. By doing so, they can locate early signs and treat root causes of colon cancer before they advance.
Depending on one’s family medical history, an individual should consider getting the procedure at an earlier age. If a family member has been diagnosed with colon cancer, Jim Gray MD recommends a colonoscopy for relatives at 10 years in age prior to diagnosis. For example, if one family member is diagnosed at age 55, then other members should have their colonoscopies at age 45 or sooner.
Consequently, men over 60 years old often notice symptoms of colon cancer too late. Depending on one’s risk for colon cancer, many doctors recommend that their male patients receive a colonoscopy and fecal occult blood test regularly.
The Procedure is Not as Bad as Many Think.
Many individuals overlook the importance of a colonoscopy and it is largely due to misconception about how colonoscopies work. According to Jim Gray MD, the procedure poses few risks; however, minor complications may include:
· Bleeding from the site where the tissue was taken/removed
· An adverse reaction to the sedative used
· A tear in the colon or rectum wall
The evening prior to the procedure, patients must empty their colon by taking a laxative. Doctors often recommend a specific diet or fast for patients the day before their colonoscopy.
While some patients indicate discomfort during the procedure, most feel minimal or no discomfort. Typically speaking, specialists offer a strong sedative to lower anxiety and significantly reduce soreness. The doctor uses a flexible tube, equipped with air to inflate the colon, with a camera at the end. As the camera moves carefully through the colon, it can spot polyps or any abnormalities that the doctor should address. The administering doctor can remove any polyps during the procedure and test them for cancer cells.
From start to finish, a colonoscopy generally takes less than an hour.
At his radiology diagnostic practice in Meridian, Mississippi, Jim Gray MD has assisted countless patients seeking to detect or prevent cancer early. For more information, visit his website at: https://www.jimgraymdms.com/.