The Colonoscopy – Defeating Colorectal Cancer Before It Begins
Colorectal cancer is a major health concern, claiming 50,000 lives in the U.S. each year. It’s estimated that at least 30,000 of those lives could be saved with increased awareness and proper colonoscopy screening. A colonoscopy is an examination of the colon and large intestine with a specialized endoscope. During the procedure, a colonoscope is inserted into the anus, through the rectum and into the colon. As with a traditional endoscope, a physician manipulates the colonoscope, simultaneously viewing the real-time images relayed from a camera at the tip of the instrument. Polyps, small growths, that often form with age on the walls of the rectum and large intestine, can develop from pre-cancerous lesions to colon cancer over a period of time. Because cancer begins in polyps, removing these growths is an important means of preventing colorectal cancer.
The Colonoscopy Procedure
The American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy recommends everyone over age 50, or those 40 and over with a family history or other risk factors, be screened for colorectal cancer. A colonoscopy is the most thorough screening method. Should an area require further evaluation, the physician may pass an instrument through the colonoscope to obtain a small tissue sample, or biopsy for analysis, which can help pinpoint the cause of many GI conditions. A Colonoscopy is well-tolerated and pain-free. You will be given a sedative by our anesthesiologist who will be present to monitor your vital signs during the examination. You will lie on your side or back during the procedure. The procedure itself usually lasts approximately 20 minutes, although you should plan on one to two hours for waiting, preparation and recovery. Assistance will be needed to return home following the procedure, but typically there are no after-effects once the sedative wears off. At Palmadessa & Brodsky we serve patients close by in Jamaica, Fresh Meadows, Flushing, Queens and surrounding New York areas near you. Call or email us today to see if you are due for a colorectal cancer screening.