Like many medical procedures, a colonoscopy isn’t something that people enjoy. Although the test itself is painless, the preparation involved is widely considered to be inconvenient. This can cause many people to delay having a colonoscopy, sometimes avoiding it altogether. However, having this screening performed can be a life-saving procedure. In this blog, gastroenterologist Dr. Omer Masood helps his patients understand when and why they need to visit DigestiveCareNY in East Meadow, New York for an evaluation.
Are you over 50?
As with many other cancers, the chance of colon cancer developing increases with age. This is why the vast majority of the medical community, including your East Meadow gastroenterologist, recommend that men and women between the ages of 50 and 75 have a colonoscopy every 10 years, provided that they do not have an elevated risk of colorectal cancer.
Do you have a family history of colon cancer?
People who have a personal or family history of colorectal cancers should be evaluated more often. If you have Chron’s Disease, ulcerative colitis or other bowel abnormalities, you may also need to have a colonoscopy or other tests performed regularly. Your East Meadow gastroenterologist can help you identify your risk factors and determine the best course of action for screenings.
Have you had a change in your bowel habits?
Regardless of age, any unexplained and ongoing change in bowel habits – frequency, consistency, or onset of pain or bleeding, should be evaluated by your East Meadow gastroenterologist. These symptoms don’t necessarily mean cancer, and treatment may be as simple as a diet change, but early detection will help prevent any complications and alleviate discomfort sooner.
There are other screenings available that can help diagnose bowel problems. If you fit into one or more of the categories listed above and haven’t yet had a colonoscopy, call DigestiveCareNY in East Meadow today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Omer Masood.