Every year, thousands of individuals are diagnosed with colon cancer. Colon cancer is one of the deadliest forms of cancer, and it is also one of the forms of cancer that is easiest to catch early on. This is thanks to the advanced screening techniques that doctors have at their disposal. When polyps that could eventually become cancerous are identified and removed from the colon and the rectum, it can actually be a lifesaver.
This begs the question, if colon cancer can be identified so easily and in some cases prevented, why are so many Americans diagnosed with it annually? It breaks down to the fact that most people are not getting the tests they need for colon cancer. In fact, it is estimated that 50 percent of Americans over the age of 50 do not get the colon cancer screenings they need. This could be because they feel uncomfortable or want to avoid getting a colonoscopy.
Some avoid getting a life-saving colonoscopy because they do not like the idea of being on a clear liquid diet, taking strong laxatives or the other prep that is required. Some are just too embarrassed to have the procedure done or worry that the procedure may lead to complications. However, none of these things are worth the difficulties that come with colon cancer.
A colonoscopy is a good test. It has been relied on by medical professionals for years. Of course, like any medical procedure, a colonoscopy is not perfect, but the benefits of getting one are excellent, especially when compared to the potential hazards of avoiding one.
Most people are familiar with what a colonoscopy is. Generally speaking, the colon is examined by a medical professional. The images are transmitted on a video screen, and the doctor is able to use this to examine the patient. Many claim that a colonoscopy is the best screening option because it allows doctors to examine the colon and the rectum while at the same time immediately removing any polyps they find.
Another thing that prevents people from getting a colonoscopy is the fact that they think that colon cancer just can’t happen to them. However, statistics say that if a person lives to be 85 years old, they have a 6 percent chance regardless of if they are male or female of getting colon cancer. If just one relative has colon cancer, your risk of getting it doubles. If in addition to these risk factors you smoke, are overweight, have Crohn’s disease or drink a lot of alcohol, your chance of getting colon cancer shoots through the roof. All of this underscores the importance of getting a colonoscopy.
The research is unquestionable. Colonoscopies have saved lives by preventing cancer in the colon. When colonoscopies are performed and colon cancer is detected early, lifesaving procedures can be used. It is true, the idea of getting a colonoscopy can seem uncomfortable or embarrassing. However, when compared to the challenges that come from battling colon cancer, getting a colonoscopy is well worth the risk.