How often should I have a colonoscopy?
If you have had a colonoscopy and had colon polyps, then you should have a colonoscopy every 3-5 years, depending on the type and number of polyps that were removed. If you did not have polyps then you should have a colonoscopy every 5-7 years. If you have a family history you should have a colonoscopy every 5 years. If you suffer from inflammatory bowel disease, you should discuss the timing of your next colonoscopy with your doctor.
Doesn’t colon cancer only happen to senior citizens?
Colon cancer can strike at any age – and recent studies indicate rates are rising in younger populations.
What is screening, and why is it important?
Screening is the process of attempting to detect an ailment before symptoms appear. A colonoscopy screens for colorectal cancer by detecting premalignant polyps and removing them and us avoiding the development of a cancer.
What sort of diet can help prevent colon cancer?
The risk of developing colon cancer can be reduced by making some simple dietary improvements. Always consult your doctor to be sure any dietary changes are right for you.
– eat less red meat
– avoid processed meats with nitrates
– maintain a high-fibre diet
– decrease consumption of fried foods
– reduce alcohol intake
– stop smoking
– watch your weight
What are the symptoms of colon cancer?
If you suffer from any of the following symptoms, you should consult your doctor and discuss the option of a colonoscopy:
– sudden changes in bowel habits
– narrowing of the stool
– blood in the stool
– severe and/or chronic constipation
– abdominal pain