Preparing for a colonoscopy
Screening for colon cancer can make a very big difference in the prevention of colon cancer. A colonoscopy can detect polyps that if left behind can become cancerous. Having a colonoscopy can save your life.
Patients that have:
- Change in bowel habits
- Change in stool caliber
- Rectal bleeding
- and/or weight loss
should make an appointment with a physician.
You may be at higher risk for colon cancer if:
- You are older than 45-50 (screening is recommended at age 50 but may be recommended earlier if you have other risk factors)
- You have had polyps before
- Someone in your family has had polyps
- You have a family history of colon cancer or polyps
Typically the most difficult part of colonoscopy is the day before when you prepare for your colonoscopy. There are various bowel preps that can be used so please follow the prep given to you by your physician or nurse. Preparing for the colonoscopy is an important step. Your doctor may not be able to see important things like polyps or cancer if preparation guidelines are not followed.
Your physician will make it a comfortable procedure. During the colonoscopy your physician will examine your colon to check for polyps or growths that could become cancerous. The procedure takes about 20 minutes to complete and is easier than you think!