Kick Off the New Year Right: Get a Colonoscopy Now
For many of us, our new year resolutions commonly include enhancing our health and wellness, generally by focusing on our eating and exercise habits. Preventive wellness screenings such as colonoscopies can also be a great way to make positive health changes and start the new year off right. If you're wondering about your colon health and need help deciding where to start, a colon exam at GI Alliance of Illinois is an excellent stepping stone. This first step could help you foster optimal health as you begin this brand new year.
How many individuals are impacted by colon cancer each year?
Colon cancer is in the top three cancers in the United States, and early detection is among the best ways to optimize the odds of survival. It’s estimated that 50,000 people in the United States pass away from colon cancer annually, with the American Cancer Society approximating 106,180 new cases diagnosed each year.
Colorectal cancer is common. However, so is its prevention. Getting a colon cancer screening is an easy way to enhance your health and wellness. This screening helps identify and prevent cancer prior to its advancement into the later stages. Reach out to GI Alliance of Illinois to schedule a colonoscopy and begin this new year by knowing the importance of health.
Why are colorectal cancer screenings so critical?
Colonoscopy exams are the gold standard for colon cancer detection and prevention, and understanding why might help you recognize the value that a colonoscopy adds to your life. In simple terms, early detection of colorectal cancer can often save your life, as colon cancer is highly treatable when discovered in the early stages.
Colorectal cancer generally is formed from abnormal growths (called polyps) that form in the colon or rectum. A colonoscopy searches for and can extract these abnormal growths prior to the development of colorectal cancer. Should a precancerous polyp be discovered during a colonoscopy, it can generally be removed at the time of the screening.
Gaining an understanding of your health is the best gift you can gift yourself this new year. When you are a knowledgeable and informed patient, you can make educated decisions that support your health for years to come. Schedule your colonoscopy exam with one of our colonoscopy doctors in Illinois to have all your questions and concerns addressed.
Who is at risk for colon cancer?
Part of making positive changes to your health begins with learning about your chances of developing common medical issues, such as cancer of the colon. Certain factors could affect your treatment plan or how often you need a colorectal cancer screening. A few of the risks factors for colon cancer involve:
- A high-fiber, low-fat diet or one that includes a lot of processed meats
- Not enough exercise
- Family history of colorectal cancer
- Having inflammatory bowel disease (ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease)
- Use of tobacco products
- A personal history of cancer of the colon
- An inadequate diet of daily fruits and veggies
- If you’ve had radiation to your stomach or pelvis to treat other cancers
Reduce your chances of colon cancer with changes to your diet, by developing a new exercise schedule, and getting regular colon cancer screenings. Introducing these routines into your life can give you an edge when it comes to your colon health. A colonoscopy at GI Alliance of Illinois can help as you embark on your journey to a better, healthier version of yourself this year.
When should I have a colonoscopy?
Learning the status of your colon health is much better than questioning if there’s possibly a problem. A regular colonoscopy typically takes less than an hour, meaning your colon screening should fit right into your day just as easily as your new workout routine.
The American Cancer Society (ACS) recommends that colonoscopies be performed at 45 years of age for individuals with an average risk for colon cancer. If you maintain ideal health and wellness and are not at an increased risk, a simple colonoscopy once every ten years should be enough to keep you aware of your colon health.
Once you reach 75, colonoscopies are typically performed per your health needs as a whole and your gastroenterologist's recommendations. Should you have a personal history or family history of colon cancer or abnormal growths, you have a significant risk of developing the disease. Patients with a higher risk should undergo colon cancer screenings more regularly to safeguard their health.
Schedule your colonoscopy in Illinois today
Make smart decisions about your future and start the new year off right by placing your colon health in your hands. If you are 45 or older, have a higher risk due to your lifestyle, or have a history in your family of colon cancer, we encourage you to schedule a colonoscopy at GI Alliance of Illinois. This exam takes just around an hour or less to complete and can help you feel confident that your colon health is heading in the right direction. If you have questions or concerns, don't hesitate to address them with your colonoscopy doctor during your visit to one of our Illinois gastroenterology locations near you.