Schedule a Colon Screening with GI Specialists of Georgia
We hear a lot about colon cancer and colonoscopies, whether that’s from your primary care physician or television advertisements. Because you’re exposed to so much information, it’s only natural to have several questions when it comes to colon cancer screening and more. If you feel like you’re in the dark about when to have a colonoscopy or the signs of colon cancer, GI Specialists of Georgia is here to answer your questions. Based in Atlanta, GA, we’ve helped countless individuals identify the early signs of colon cancer and screen for numerous other conditions. We’ve compiled some of the most important information you need before scheduling a colon screening.
What Is Colon Cancer Screening?
A colon cancer screening looks at the inner lining of your large intestine to find warning signs such as ulcers, polyps, tumors, bleeding, and more. Also knows as a colonoscopy, this procedure can identify cancer when it’s in its early stages, making treatment much easier and effective. In many cases, the team at GI Specialists of Georgia can remove the threat before it even becomes cancerous.
What Happens During a Colon Screening?
The colonoscopy procedure is quite common. During the procedure, your doctor at GI Specialists of Georgia carefully inserts a thin tube with a camera into the colon. The footage from this camera projects onto a screen, and your doctor will easily be able to find any signs of colon cancer. For most patients, a colonoscopy takes only a half-hour. We do recommend asking someone to drive you home after your colon cancer test.
How Do I Prepare for a Colonoscopy?
Preparing for a colon screening isn’t a walk in the park, but it’s certainly doable. Your doctor will provide you with a method of thoroughly cleaning out your bowels prior to the procedure. As long as you follow your doctor’s instructions closely, you shouldn’t encounter any problems. As always, GI Specialists of Georgia are happy to address your concerns.
How Often Do I Need a Colonoscopy?
Too many people neglect colon cancer screenings, especially since most people need them sparingly. For the majority of our patients, every 10 years or so will suffice. However, if you’re at increased risk for colon cancer, you may need a colon screening more often. The team at GI Specialists of Georgia can give you an accurate idea of how often you need a colonoscopy based on your current risk factors.
Is There More Than One Kind of Polyp?
Polyps are one of the signs we look for during a colon screening. However, not all polyps are alike, and different patients develop contrasting types of polyps. The most common types of polyps associated with colon cancer screening include the following:
- Inflammatory: This type of polyp is typically associated with ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease. These won’t turn into cancer.
- Hyperplastic: A small variety of polyp, these come with a very low risk of cancer.
- Tubular Adenoma: These common polyps are associated with a moderate risk of cancer and need to be re-examined regularly.
- Villous Adenoma: This is the most severe type of polyp we find during a colonoscopy. Patients with villous adenomas have a very high risk of cancer.
Are There Any Symptoms of Colon Cancer?
If you’re experiencing symptoms of colon cancer, now is an excellent time to visit us for a colon screening. Symptoms of colon cancer are typically severe, including rectal bleeding, anemia, abnormal bowels, abdominal pain, and weight loss. Many patients believe they don’t need a colon cancer screening as long as they’re not exhibiting any of these symptoms. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. By the time patients start experiencing these symptoms, colon cancer is usually in a late stage. Many people need their colon removed at this stage. Nevertheless, regular colon cancer screenings can identify risk factors of cancer early and avoid the need for such drastic measures.
What If I Can’t Afford a Colon Cancer Test?
This is a major concern for many of our patients at GI Specialists of Georgia. Fortunately, there are provisions in the Affordable Care Act that cover colonoscopies with insurance. If you’re still wary about scheduling a colon cancer screening, reach out to your insurance provider for the answer. If you’re still at a loss, our team can help you navigate your insurance policy and find out what you’re covered for. We believe you deserve quality care regardless of your financial resources. Contact one of our offices in the Atlanta area with additional questions or to set up an appointment.