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Colon Cancer Prevention

Colonoscopy is an effective procedure to diagnose abnormalities of the large intestine and to screen for colorectal cancer and colorectal polyps.  During a colonoscopy, a long, thin flexible tube with a camera provides magnified views of the colon and rectum.  This allows the physician to look, identify and remove abnormalities and colon polyps.  If these abnormalities and colon polyps are not removed, they develop into cancer.  Therefore, colonoscopy is a therapeutic, life-saving procedure.  Although a bowel cleanse is required before the procedure, a colonoscopy is a safe procedure that is frequently performed in an outpatient setting with minimal discomfort and inconvenience.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                              

 

Colonoscopy remains the gold standard to diagnose conditions of the colon such as inflammatory bowel disease, diverticular disease, bleeding conditions and unexplained diarrhea. Colonoscopy remains the gold standard to screen for colon cancer and often begins with the detection of the precursors of colon cancer.  Due to recent alarming rise in colorectal cancer in people younger than 50, the American Cancer Society, lowered the age for initiation of screening to 45 years in 2018.  Therefore, colonoscopy is now routinely recommended to adults starting at the age of 45.  Patients who have a family history of colorectal cancer or polyps may be recommended for a colonoscopy earlier and more frequently than those without a family history of cancer or polyps.  Your doctor may also recommend a colonoscopy to evaluate symptoms such as rectal bleeding and change in bowel habits.  Both men and women should have this done. 

 

Colonoscopy is also recommended for:

  • Follow-up examinations for patients who have a personal history of colorectal cancer or colon/rectal polyps

  • Patients with acute or chronic anemia

  • Patients with inflammatory bowel disease (e.g., Crohn’s disease or colitis)

  • Patients with certain familial hereditary conditions such as hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer (also known as Lynch syndrome)

 

 

According to a study from the American Cancer Society, the diagnosis of colorectal cancer in individuals younger than 50 has almost doubled since 1995, a steeper increase than that previously recognized. In the last decade, the proportion of newly diagnosed colorectal cancer in individuals younger than 55 has increased from 11% to 20%.  The causes are elusive.  New Cases of colorectal cancer rise by 2% annually among individuals younger than 50 and those between 50 and 54.  As the incidence in young adults has occurred there has been a decline among people 65 or older, all due to screening in adults 50 and over. 

 

 

"We know rates are increasing in young people, but it's alarming to see how rapidly the whole patient population is shifting younger, despite shrinking numbers in the overall population," "The trend toward more advanced disease in people of all ages is also surprising and should motivate everyone 45 and older to get screened.

 

If you are experiencing any problems, you should schedule a diagnostic colonoscopy regardless of your age or how long it has been since your last one.  If you have a gastrointestinal bleeding, any unexplained changes in your bowel habit and any suspicion of a malignancy.  If you suspect that you have inflammatory bowel disease or diverticulitis, this can be diagnosed by performing a colonoscopy.

 

 

Colonoscopy remains the gold star standard for colorectal cancer screening. The procedure allows for detection and removal of colon polyps that may develop into cancer.  No other screening test can remove the precursor of colorectal cancer.  Also, colonoscopy is used for investigation and diagnosis of other diseases that affect the intestines and present with a variety of symptoms.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Colonoscopy is a very safe procedure with few complications, occurring in less than 1% of patients. Infrequent risks include bleeding, perforation (a tear in the intestine), rare side effects from sedation medicines, inability to complete the colonoscopy, and inability to visualize the entire colon for polyps or other conditions. For anatomical reasons your physician may deem it unsafe to complete the colonoscopy and your physician will therefore terminate the examination. In such instances, your physician will discuss with you whether or not additional or alternative examinations are indicated.

 

 

 

 

 

 

We will ask that you limit your intake of high-fiber foods a few days before the procedure.  The day before the colonoscopy, you will follow a bowel cleansing regimen that will clean out your colon.

 

Depending on your medical history, a colonoscopy can be performed at either a certified ambulatory surgical center or an outpatient hospital.  Our physicians work alongside highly skilled certified gastroenterology nurses and anesthesiologists. 

 

We have available Open Access Colonoscopy Program, designed to provide you the convenience of scheduling your colonoscopy without the additional wait on an office consultation, for those who meet the criteria.

 

For more information on our Open Access Colonoscopy Program, please visit the Open Access Colonoscopy tab under the Treatment section of the website or click the button below.

To schedule an appointment, please call our office at (860) 826-3880 or request an appointment online.  If appropriate and availability allows, a consultation appointment will be scheduled for you to be seen by one of our experienced physicians, generally, within a two-week timeframe of contacting the office.  Procedures are generally scheduled shortly thereafter.

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Colon Cancer 1.png

Colon Cancer in Young Adults

What are the Benefits of a Colonoscopy?

What are the Risks of a Colonoscopy?

Procedure

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