Why get screened for colon cancer?
Screening may find diseases at an early stage, when a doctor has a better chance of treating or preventing the disease. The American College of Gastroenterology recommends screening for colon cancer:
- At age 40 for any person with a first degree relative with colon cancer.
- At age 45 for African Americans because they have an increased risk of developing the disease.
- At age 45 for people who are not at increased risk of the disease.
What is a colonoscopy?
Colonoscopy is a procedure that uses a long, flexible, narrow tube with a light and tiny camera on one end, called a colonoscope or scope, to look inside the rectum and entire colon. Colonoscopy can show abnormalities of the lining of the large intestine.
Why is a colonoscopy performed?
Some of the reasons a colonoscopy may be performed include but are not limited to:
- Screening for colon cancer
- Changes in bowel habits
- Abdominal pain
- Bleeding from the anus
- Unexplained weight loss
- A family history of colon cancer
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