At what age does a person need to have a colonoscopy to screen for colorectal cancer?
The American Cancer Society recommends for most patients their first screening colonoscopy should start at age 45. However, screening may need to happen sooner in patients with health conditions that make them more susceptible to colorectal cancer, or if a patient has a family history of colorectal cancer or polyps.
Why is it important to have a colonoscopy?
Colon cancer is preventable via high-quality colonoscopy. Colon polyps and colorectal cancer might not cause symptoms initially. With colon cancer screening through a colonoscopy, we detect and subsequently remove precursor lesions (polyps) in the large intestine thereby preventing that abnormal growth from becoming colorectal cancer.
Why is early detection of colorectal cancer important?
Colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States. A colonoscopy also allows early detection of colorectal cancer, and when found at an early stage the 5-year survival rate is approximately 90 percent.
What are the symptoms of colorectal cancer?
Colorectal cancer might be asymptomatic at first; consequently, screening is essential. However, it may cause some of the following symptoms: a change in your normal bowel habits or stool size, diarrhea, constipation, incomplete evacuation, rectal bleeding with red blood, black stools, abdominal pain, bloating, fatigue and unintentional weight loss.