The colon is one of the most important organs in your body. It’s also one that many people ignore when it comes to cancer prevention. Colonoscopy is a screening procedure for colon cancer, which can help save lives. GATGI has been performing colon screenings for decades and understands how critical this procedure can be for the early detection of colon cancer. That’s why we’re urging you not to put off getting tested!
Colon and rectal cancer are one of the most preventable cancers. Colorectal cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in men and women. However, the mortality rates have been declining over the last couple of decades. The decrease is due to people getting a colon screening or colonoscopy. Colon polyps are more often found during screenings before they can develop into cancers. This is why GATGI is urging people to get a colon screening or colonoscopy.
Screening can find cancer or pre-cancer before symptoms develop and cancer has become life-threatening. Many times, when someone starts to have symptoms, cancer has already spread. However, polyps can be removed or treated and in many cases cured if found early. Colonoscopy can help detect colon cancer at its earliest and most treatable stage. Early detection is key in preventing colon cancer from spreading because the earlier colon cancer is detected, the more successful treatment will be.
The American Cancer Society recommends getting a colonoscopy by age 45 and typically needed every 10 years. African Americans are 20% more likely to be diagnosed with colon cancer and 40% more likely to die from it. If you have a family history of colon cancer, talk to one of the doctors at GATGI about when is the best time to get a screening.
A study that was published by Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention identified eastern North Carolina and Virginia as having one of the highest rates of colorectal cancer deaths.
“Some of the symptoms we see in colon cancer include bleeding in the stool or rectal bleeding, abdominal pain, change in your bowel habits, or unexplained weight loss,“ says Dr. Jeremy Domanski, one of the gastroenterologists at GATGI. “But unfortunately a lot of these symptoms don’t show up until the tumor is pretty far advanced. It’s important to know that when colon cancer is in the very early stage, there are actually no symptoms. This is why screening is so important so we can find cancer when it’s very early.”
While there are other tests available, a colonoscopy is the only screening that can remove polyps when they are found. By removing polyps in the colon, there is a decrease in the chance of colon cancer developing.
Colonoscopies don’t have to be scary or uncomfortable. If you’ve put off your screening because of the recent health crisis related to COVID-19, our goal is the well-being and safety of patients and staff. We’ve taken every precaution to prevent COVID-19 from spreading.
To schedule a colon screening appointment with one of GATGI’s physicians, visit our Open Access page here. Eligible patients may be screened over the phone before the colonoscopy. For more information, call (757) 547-0798.
Schedule your colonoscopy today. Do it for yourself and the ones you love.