If you have an average risk of cancer, you should begin receiving colonoscopies regularly at age 45. If you are in good health, you should continue to receive a regular colon screening on to the age of 75. After the age of 75, you will likely no longer need to receive colon screenings.
Why a Colonoscopy?
A colonoscopy is a procedure that allows for a physician to examine your colon directly. When you visit your physician, you may be asked to perform a colonoscopy if you show warning signs such as:
This procedure allows for the physician to examine abnormal findings and also allows for the physician to remove lesions, which contribute to colon issues. You have a six percent chance of developing colon cancer regardless of whether you are male or female and if you live in the United States.
Your Prior History
There are many reasons why you might want to consider a colonoscopy sooner in life. For instance, you may have a family that has a history of inflammatory bowel disease or colorectal cancer. Also, if you have had your abdomen irradiated to treat a prior cancer, you should consider receiving a colonoscopy. Common inflammatory bowel diseases include ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease.
The Effects of Polyp Removal
You will not need a colonoscopy more than once every five-ten years. However, if you are screened regularly, your healthcare provider may discover and remove polyps. You are unlikely to develop cancer within five years of having a polyp removed, so a screening is not necessary.
Depending on the type of polyps you had removed, you may need a colonoscopy more often. For instance, if you had very large polyps or if there was a large number of them, you might need to have a colonoscopy performed sooner.
Considerations for Former Cancer Patients
If you have previously had colon or rectal cancer, you may need to have a colonoscopy sooner. This is in order to verify that the treatment performed was effective and to make sure that the cancer has not spread.
Certain genetic syndromes can be an indication that you will need a colonoscopy more often. These genetic concerns will likely begin as early as the teenage years. Genetic disorders that can be associated with colon cancer include Lynch syndrome, amilial adenomatous polyposis and inherited cancer syndromes.
For more information, contact a company like Lincoln Surgical Group PC.