As we head into the last few months of 2022, now is the ideal reminder to consider the situation of your overall health and your wellness goals for the coming year. One option to help you stay on top of these goals might be to book your routine colorectal screening with an experienced GI doctor.
Even though other colon cancer screening testing methods are available, colonoscopy is perhaps the most reliable and efficient of all screenings in the field. The doctors at Austin Gastroenterology consistently conduct colonoscopy screenings to allow patients to identify indicators of colorectal cancer before it is too advanced and to provide care for other concerns in the colon. Keep reading to learn about colonoscopies from our Austin, TX GI experts.
What makes colonoscopies the preferred colon cancer screening?
In addition to evaluating for indicators of colorectal cancer, colonoscopy permits your GI physician to inspect the overall health of your colon and also take out any polyps they discover during the procedure.
Colonoscopy is generally a good idea for those at least 45 years old or for those that:
- Have specific inflammatory bowel diseases (including ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease) which are recognized to heighten the risk of colorectal cancer
- Are a member of certain ethnicities (African Americans have a higher chance of getting colon cancer than individuals of other ethnicities, though no ethnicity is without risk.)
- Have a history of bowel cancer in their family
- Keep a diet that is low in fiber but high in fat and calories
It is imperative to talk with a specialist in digestive health to understand your risk of colon cancer and when to plan a colonoscopy screening.
When is the recommended time to schedule a colonoscopy?
In general, there is not a “right” or “wrong” time to be proactive about taking care of your health. Pragmatically, however, deductibles are due to reset for most health insurance policies, on January 1, so if you have already met your plan’s deductible, now might be the optimal time to be seen for a colonoscopy in Austin, TX and take advantage of your deductible having already been met. If you’re enrolled in a plan with a flexible spending account (FSA), now is your last chance to use up the remaining money that can’t carry over into 2023.
Also, performing any routine health screenings now can set you up to enter into the new year with the knowledge that you’re prioritizing your health needs.
Exactly how does a colonoscopy screening work?
A colonoscopy screening is a very common exam that takes place in a private room either at your provider’s practice location or your nearest endoscopy center. After arriving at the exam site and making preparations, you will lie on your side, and a member of our team will give you intravenous sedation in measured and controlled amounts to ensure your safety and comfort during the test. Once you are sedated, your Austin Gastroenterology provider will start the colonoscopy by gently inserting a scope via your rectum and up through the colon, evaluating the health of your bowel by way of the camera affixed inside the end of the scope. Based on the information revealed by the colonoscopy, the procedure typically takes approximately 15-30 minutes.
Reserve time for a colonoscopy in Austin, TX today
Colorectal cancer causes more than 50,000 deaths each year in the U.S. alone, but the odds of survival improve drastically when the cancer is found and addressed near the beginning of its development. That’s why it’s vital to work with an expert colonoscopy doctor who can identify the signals that point to cancer and care for you if additional treatments are called for. With the knowledge and resources of our physician-led network, the providers with Austin Gastroenterology are here to help you ring in a new year with your health as a top priority. To hear more about screenings for colon cancer or to visit with a provider specializing in colonoscopies in Austin, TX, we urge you to get in touch with our GI practice today.