This is a repost of a previous article, updated.
With so many statistics changing daily as we navigate coronavirus concerns, it’s important to realize that some percentages have developed over years of research. So, while the world continues to work out accurate statistics to help us get a solid understanding of the storm we’re in with coronavirus, the doctors and staff at GI Associates continue to offer some of the best performing and life-changing procedures available to address a disease that affects more people than it ever should.
While Coronavirus is the most top-of-mind sickness on everyone’s mind right now, colon cancer remains the 2nd leading cause of cancer death in the world. And we want to help change that.
Doctors recommend that otherwise healthy patients and those without certain risk factors start getting a colonoscopy every 10 years starting at age 50. A colonoscopy may sound intimidating, but it’s a quick exam that is typically done as an outpatient procedure, meaning you’re usually back home later that afternoon.
Who Should Do My Colonoscopy?
It is important to remember that just undergoing an exam isn’t enough. You should do some research into your healthcare provider prior to the exam, making sure to ask them about an important number – their ADR, or Adenoma Detection Rate. This number is an industry benchmark that indicates the quality of a colonoscopy exam. The ADR refers to the proportion of patients who receive a colonoscopy who have adenomas, or polyps, detected. An ADR should measure at least 25% in men and 15% in women. Once these polyps are detected, they’re sent off for testing to determine if they are cancerous or indicate that a patient may be at a higher risk to develop cancer. At GI Associates we want our patients to feel confident that they have made the best choice possible.
Where Should I Have My Colonoscopy?
A gastroenterologist is an "open access" physician, meaning you can make an appointment directly with us. You also have the right to choose our Endoscopy Center over a hospital outpatient surgical center. So, if your primary care physician tells you it's time for a GI procedure and offers to set up your appointment, remember to request the procedure be done in one of our dedicated Endoscopy Centers. Recent studies show that procedures done by non-gastroenterologists are not as accurate and have a higher "miss" rate.
What Else Should I Know?
If you are approaching 50, or fall into certain high-risk categories, it’s time to give the team at GI Associates a call to discuss your need for a colonoscopy. Those high-risk categories include patients suffering from Inflammatory Bowel Disease or Type 2 Diabetes, or who have a family or personal history of cancer. Other factors that can put you at risk for developing colon cancer include being overweight, having a diet high in red and processed meat, having a sedentary lifestyle, or drinking and smoking. Contact GI Associates today so we can start to discuss your healthcare options and put you on the right track to proper cancer detection and treatment.