“Get healthy” is repeatedly one of the top New Year’s resolutions. You also may have determined that this is the year you will get healthy. If you are at least 50, one of the best ways to ensure overall gut health is a colonoscopy. We know, the word “colonoscopy” evokes feelings of uncertainty, discomfort, and anxiety, but it really could save your life. Colorectal cancer is currently the second leading cause of cancer death in both men and women. But 60% of colorectal cancer deaths could have been prevented with a screening. Get the information you need from a trusted GI Associates doctor and add a colonoscopy to your 2018 goals.

What is a Colonoscopy?

A colonoscopy is a screening test that looks for polyps in the colon. Polyps are growths along the lining of the colon that typically become cancer. During this 30 minute procedure, a doctor inserts a thin, flexible tube into the colon. The tube has an attached camera at the end that closely scans the lining of the colon to determine any cancerous or precancerous polyps. You will be given medication to help you relax during the procedure. At GI Associates, we have new technology that gives you a better and more comfortable preparation for a colonoscopy that results in more accurate results. HyGIeaCare takes less than an hour for complete preparation compared to the standard oral laxative preparation. When you go into the colonoscopy with a clear colon, the results are more clear. Many people find that with the standard laxative preparation, the test results can be skewed. Find out if HyGIeaCare is right for you.

Why Should I Get a Colonoscopy?

In 2017, it was estimated that doctors would see 35,430 new cases of colorectal cancer and 50,260 deaths from colorectal cancer. As noted earlier, a screening could significantly lower both of these numbers and save thousands of lives. Unfortunately, one in three people are not up to date on their screening. The short procedure is a small price to pay compared to the physical and emotional pain of a cancer diagnosis. In most cases, there are few—if any—symptoms revealing the early stages of colon cancer. This is another reason it’s extremely important to be screened—so that you have the opportunity of early detection. Statistic show that 25% percent of people diagnosed with colorectal cancer have a family history of cancer. Find out if your family members suffered from colorectal cancer and let that motivate you to get a screening. Change the statistics within your own family and take control of your gut health.

Who is at Risk for Colorectal Cancer?

Colon cancer is diagnosed most often in people over the age of 50. However, the number of younger people being diagnosed is rising. Doctors recommend a first colonoscopy screening at age 50, unless you are at a high risk. Risk factors include a personal history of colorectal polyps, inflammatory intestinal conditions such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, a family history of colon cancer, a sedentary lifestyle, diabetes, obesity, a low-fiber and high-fat diet, heavy alcohol use, and smoking. If you are below the age of 50 and fall into any of these categories for cancer risk, then we recommend contacting a gastroenterologist to schedule a colonoscopy as soon as possible. Your life is too valuable to gamble a cancer diagnosis. If you are 50 or older, then let 2018 be the year you schedule a colonoscopy.

If you need a gastroenterologist in Jackson, MS, you’ve come to the right place! If you have questions or concerns about your risk for colorectal cancer or want to schedule a colonoscopy, make an appointment today with our fantastic team of doctors at any of our locations.

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