Gastroenterology Associates of Beverly Hills
Gastroenterology & Internal Medicine located in Los Angeles, CA
Colon cancer is still a significant cause of early death, but a simple screening for the disease could prevent most of these untimely losses. The expert team at Gastroenterology Associates of Beverly Hills, in Beverly Hills, California, has specialized expertise in carrying out colon cancer screenings using state-of-the-art colonoscopy technology. Call Gastroenterology Associates of Beverly Hills today to schedule your colon cancer screening, or book an appointment online.
Colon Cancer Screening Q & A
Why should I undergo colon cancer screening?
You should be screened because colon cancer is far easier to prevent or treat at an early stage.
Figures show that five-year survival rates are significantly higher in people who have an early diagnosis. Colon cancer screening is one of the most effective cancer screening programs available and saves thousands of lives every year.
Unfortunately, many thousands of people still die in the United States because of colon cancer. It’s the second-highest cause of cancer deaths, most of which would be preventable if patients went for a colon cancer screening.
What causes colon cancer?
One of the most important risk factors for developing colon cancer is your genes. If other members of your family have had colon cancer, your risk of getting it is higher. Other factors that could increase your risk of developing colon cancer include:
- Being overweight
- Heavy drinking
- Lack of exercise
- Lack of fiber in the diet
- Diet high in animal fat
- Lack of fresh fruit and vegetables
If you have any of these risk factors, it’s even more vital that you start having regular colon cancer screenings.
What’s involved in having colon cancer screening?
Colon cancer screening is done using a colonoscope. This is a miniature camera on a long, flexible tube. Your provider at Gastroenterology Associates of Beverly Hills inserts the colonoscope into your rectum and passes it along your colon, checking for signs of cancer.
Colonoscopy is an outpatient procedure. A sedative keeps you relaxed, but you don’t need an anesthetic. The procedure takes 30 minutes or so, and once your sedative wears off, you can go home.
How does colon cancer develop?
Colon cancer tumors start as polyps, small growths in the lining of your colon. Polyps themselves are mostly benign and don’t cause any problems. However, a small number of polyps mutate and go on to become cancerous.
There’s no way to tell for sure which polyps might turn cancerous, so the safest course is to simply get rid of any polyps before they change. During your colonoscopy procedure, your provider locates any polyps and removes them.
How often should I have colon cancer screening?
Those at high risk of developing colon cancer, such as where there’s a family history of the disease, should begin screenings at age 40, sometimes earlier.
If you’re not at high risk, then experts recommend starting colon cancer screening at age 50. After the first test, you should go for another one every 10 years until you get to 80. If your colonoscopy picks up polyps, you’ll need to have a check-up every 3-5 years.
To arrange your colon cancer screening test, call Gastroenterology Associates of Beverly Hills today, or book an appointment online.