Written by: John Evans, MD
Cullman Regional Medical Group – Surgical Arts
Although March is colorectal cancer awareness month, screening for colorectal cancer should be an ongoing consideration for those age 50 and over, and earlier for certain patients at increased risk. Many believe that even routine screening should start at age 45.
The preferred method of screening continues to be videoscopic colonoscopy, which is more accurate in detecting colorectal cancer. Stool based screening tests are also available, although somewhat less accurate in detecting cancer and much less accurate in detecting pre-cancerous polyps that would ordinarily be seen on a colonoscopy.
A screening colonoscopy is performed as an outpatient procedure with light IV sedation after a bowel cleansing prep the evening before the procedure. Most patients will only miss one day of work and be able to resume their usual activities and diet the day following the procedure.
Excluding skin cancer, colorectal cancer is now considered the third most common type of cancer in both men and women according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is felt that almost all colorectal cancers arise from small polyps that develop in the lining of the colon. Colonoscopy is a proven, safe, and affective way to screen for colorectal cancer and remove any polyps while they are small and have not yet progressed to malignancy.
If it is time for you to schedule a routine screening colonoscopy, call Surgical Arts at 256-734-7850 to set up your initial visit. During your visit, we’ll schedule your colonoscopy at a time convenient for you.