At Associates in Colon and Rectal Surgery in Salt Lake City, UT, colonoscopy is the premiere screening test for colon cancer, with our four on-staff proctologists recommending this minimally invasive test for people ages 50 and over. Read on to learn why.
What is colon cancer?
Colon cancer affects the bowel, or large intestine, rectum, and anus. Deadly when undetected and untreated, this aggressive malignancy is the third most prevalent cancer in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
Risk factors include age (over 50), poor diet, family history, alcohol abuse, smoking, obesity, and a sedentary lifestyle. Inflammatory bowel disease, ulcerative colitis, and Crohn's Disease may be precursors to colon cancer.
What is a colonoscopy?
Your proctologist at Associates in Colon and Rectal Surgery in Salt Lake City, UT, performs routine colonoscopies at your local hospital. Performed under sedation, this test inspects the lining of the lower GI tract from the anus to the rectum through the entire length of the large intestine. A fasting and cleansing routine performed the day before the exam prepares the bowel.
During the half-hour test, the doctor introduces a thin, flexible tube into the anus and through to the large bowel. The tube is equipped with a light and small camera, allowing for real-time photos.
As the doctor advances the scope, they can look for signs of cancer and other GI diseases. The scope also takes for tissue samples for lab analysis and can remove colon polyps.
Polyps are growths attached to the bowel wall. While most are benign, others may develop into cancer. In fact, all colon cancer arises from polyps. That's why their detection and removal is so important.
The CDC says that 90 percent of colon cancer cases that are detected early remain in remission five years later. That means tests such as colonoscopy actually save lives.
Find out more
You owe it to yourself to be on top of your colon health. At Associates in Colon and Rectal Surgery in Salt Lake City, our professional team is passionate about routine screening with colonoscopy. If you're approaching 50 and need your initial screening, please call our office for a consultation: (801) 263-1621.