The importance of a colonoscopy

by | March 13, 2018 10:50 pm

Devonne Barrineau, MD

Excluding skin cancers, colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer diagnosed in both men and women in the United States. The American Cancer Society estimates the number of new colorectal cancer cases in the United States for 2018 to be around 97,220.

Colorectal cancer symptoms that most people feel are a change in bowel habits, abdominal pain, blood in the stool, and weight loss. Yet, most of the time there are no symptoms until it’s too late. If you have the symptoms, the disease may already have advanced. So the important thing is to be checked before the symptoms appear.

On average, people should begin getting a colonoscopy at age 50. Those who are at high risk because of family history or because they have other health conditions that predispose them to colon cancer should be screened at an earlier age. There are other tests besides a colonoscopy available, but they are not as reliable or effective.

When colorectal cancer is found early, it can often be cured. Treatment for colorectal cancer has improved over the last few decades. As a result, there are now more than 1 million survivors of colorectal cancer in the United States.

Talk to your doctor if you are experiencing any signs or symptoms that may be concerning. To schedule a colonoscopy call McLeod Surgery Clarendon at (803) 435-2822.

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