For many people, talking about colon health can be a little uncomfortable. However, medical issues don’t just go away if you ignore them.
Being proactive about your well-being with preventative care can help catch colorectal cancer or another serious condition early, often before it becomes a bigger problem.
Wellstar is committed to keeping your colon healthy with preventative screenings and expert care, so you can continue to live well.
Catch colorectal cancer early
Early detection is the best prevention, especially when it comes to colon cancer. If caught early, colorectal cancer has a survival rate of 91%.
“Colon cancer is the second most common cause of cancer death in the United States, so it’s very important that everyone gets screened,” said Dr. Cameron Body, Wellstar gastroenterologist. “For an average risk person, screenings should begin at age 45.”
Those with a higher risk or family history of colorectal cancer may need to start screening even sooner. Talk with your provider to start a screening schedule — and stick with it to stay ahead of the disease.
Why colonoscopies work
During a colonoscopy, your physician will view the inside or your colon and look for polyps or any other abnormal tissue that could be cancerous. This preventative testing is key to catching colorectal issues at the start.
“A colonoscopy is the gold standard when screening for colon cancer. The procedure itself is not painful, and we make sure you’re comfortable throughout the process,” Dr. Body said.
“The goal is to do a high-quality exam with a good prep to find polyps when they’re small and get them removed to minimize the risk of them subsequently developing into cancer,” Dr. Body explained.
“For colon cancer, it takes a polyp about five to 15 years to evolve into an invasive cancer,” shared Dr. Carmen Klass, oncologist and hematologist with Northwest Georgia Oncology Centers. “If you have a colonoscopy every five to ten years, they can remove the polyp and it will never be declared an invasive cancer.”
“In fact, if all Americans did their screening colonoscopies every five to ten years, then the death rate for colorectal cancer would drop by 50%,” Dr. Klass shared, urging people not to put off the preventative screening.