Colorectal Cancer Screening
Colorectal cancer screenings like flexible sigmoidoscopies and colonoscopies (both offered at NVHC) help detect polyps and cancers in the colon and rectum. Both of these screenings are aimed at finding precancerous polyps before they turn into cancer. If cancer is detected during a screening, screenings can help catch it in its earlier stages when treatment often works best! For many that have colorectal cancer, they experience no symptoms – this is why screening is so important! The earlier the polyps and cancer are detected, the more preventable and treatable this disease is.
Those between the ages of 45 and 70, both men and women, should be screened for colorectal cancer on a regular basis. As colorectal cancer is on the rise in younger populations, many experts agree that screening should begin at 45 instead of 50 to increase early detection and prevention efforts. However, if you are considered to be at an increased risk due to a family history of colorectal cancer or other risk factors, please talk with your doctor and follow their suggestions for screening as you may need earlier or more frequent testing.
North Valley Health Center’s endoscopy team, led by gastroenterologist Dr. Baig, is proud to offer both flexible sigmoidoscopies and colonoscopies to the patients that we serve. If your primary care physician believes that a flexible sigmoidoscopy is the best screening test for you, you should have one done every 5 years or as recommended by your doctor. This procedure looks at the rectum and lower third of the colon for precancerous polyps and cancers. If your doctor believes that a colonoscopy is the best screening test for you, you should have one done every 10 years or as recommended by your doctor. In this procedure, the rectum and entire colon is examined for precancerous polyps and cancer. During a colonoscopy, most polyps and cancers can be removed during the procedure. If you are 45 or older, it is important that you consult with your trusted provider about which test is best for you.
Colorectal cancer does not have to be the second leading cause of cancer death in the U.S.! Colorectal cancer is preventable with screening, treatable with early detection, and beatable!
To book an appointment for a screening or to meet with a doctor about your colorectal cancer concerns, call North Valley Health Center at 218-745-4211.