We all have loved ones who need us in their lives – those who rely on us and can’t wait until we can all safely gather together again once the COVID-19 pandemic has subsided. You owe it to your family to take care of your health.
Colonoscopies and Colon Cancer Prevention
Colon cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer death in the United States, but it is mostly preventable with regular colonoscopies. A screening colonoscopy is a necessary form of preventive care because it can detect and prevent colon cancer. According to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, removing cancer-causing polyps during a colonoscopy can lower the risk of death from colorectal cancer by 53 percent.
Even though research proves colonoscopies save lives, millions of Americans are not getting screened at proper intervals. As a result of COVID-19, colorectal screenings dropped significantly in 2020, with an 86 percent decline compared to averages before February 2020. This screening disruption translates to more undiagnosed cases of colorectal cancer for longer periods. Up to 10,000 more deaths are projected over the next decade as a consequence of postponed screenings.
Most cases of colon cancer are preventable with routine screening colonoscopies. There are misconceptions around this quick, painless procedure, and unfortunately, that causes many people to avoid getting screened. A few common myths are:
- Colonoscopies are painful
- Colon screenings take too much time
- Colonoscopy prep is unbearable
- Colonoscopies are too expensive
Here’s the reality:
- Colonoscopies are relatively painless
- The procedure itself lasts only around a half-hour, and you’ll likely only need to take one day off of work for the entire screening process
- Bowel prep has improved tremendously over the years
- Insurance covers many screening procedures
After clearing up those misconceptions, having a life-saving colonoscopy doesn’t sound that bad, does it?
Colon Cancer Screening Guidelines
The American Cancer Society suggests all adults who are at average risk for colon cancer have an initial colon cancer screening at 45 years of age. Specific individuals are at higher risk for colon cancer due to family history, so talk to your GI doctor about when to begin screening.
Let us Help You Find a GI Specialist
Have you delayed or canceled your screening colonoscopy? Your loved ones want you to be around for many years to come, so it’s crucial to reschedule the procedure you may have delayed.
You are not the only one who cares about your health. Your family and friends want the best for you. Give those who love you peace of mind by scheduling a screening colonoscopy today. Use our physician locator tool to find a fellowship-trained gastroenterologist in your area.
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