Since March is colon cancer awareness month, I wanted to take the opportunity to further promote awareness of this treatable and preventable cancer in Plano TX. According to the Colon Cancer Alliance, colon cancer is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer and the second leading cause of cancer death in men and women combined in the U.S. More than 50,000 Americans die from colon cancer each year.
Why get screened for Colon Cancer in Plano TX?
Over the past 20 years the incidence of colon cancer has been declining due to increased awareness and increased screening. This cancer can be effectively treated if detected early and can even be prevented if precancerous polyps are removed before developing into cancers. The key to beating colon cancer is to get screened at the recommended age. The American College of Gastroenterology recommends getting screened at age 50 and re-screened every 10 years unless your doctor recommends otherwise (presence of polyps, family history of colon cancer, etc). While there are different tests to detect polyps, colonoscopy is the gold standard due to its ability to view the entire colon and both detect and remove polyps during the same procedure. For more detailed information on colonoscopy and the recommended screening guidelines, I encourage you to visit the colonoscopy page on my website.
Here are a few of the common questions regarding colonoscopy that can cause apprehension with patients:
- Is colonoscopy painful? Patients are fully sedated during the colonoscopy and experience little to no discomfort.
- Is the colonoscopy prep really that bad? While I can’t completely disagree that the prep can be a little unpleasant, my office will provide you with a few tips on how to improve the experience. It’s important to note that doing a good job with the prep really helps your doctor find polyps if they exist.
- Do I need to schedule an office visit before scheduling colonoscopy? My office offers an Open Access Colonoscopy service that allows qualifying patients to schedule their colonoscopy without a prior office visit. This allows the patient to save the cost of an office visit and also save their time.
- Is my privacy respected during colonoscopy? Yes. We respect your privacy at all times. You will be covered with warm blankets during the procedure to provide privacy and additional comfort.
- Will insurance pay for colonoscopy? For screening at age 50 or older and for screening sooner than age 50 in people with identified risk factors, most every insurance carrier covers the colonoscopy procedure. However, to be completely sure, I encourage all patients to check with their insurance provider prior to the procedure. My office staff is also happy to assist with any insurance questions as well.
I hope that these answers help to ease any concerns regarding colonoscopy. It is a relatively painless procedure that can save lives! If you have additional questions regarding colonoscopy or other topics related to colon cancer, please post your comment at the bottom of this blog article.
Spread Colon Cancer Awareness in Plano TX
If you know a family member, co-worker or friend that might be of age to get screened for colon cancer, I encourage you to share this information with them. It’s important to spread the message that by getting screened we can prevent this deadly cancer.
For those in the Plano TX area, if you would like to participate in an awareness event and get a little exercise there is a 5k run/walk on March 21, 2015 in Fort Worth. Anyone that is interested in participating in this event can find out more information on this website.
Matthew Eidem, MD