Begin The New Year Right: Get a Colonoscopy Screening


For many of us, our goals for the new year include the decision to optimize our health, generally with changes to our food choices and exercise routines. Preventive health assessments like colon cancer screenings can also be a great way to make sustainable health and wellness changes and begin the new year right. If you're looking to take charge of your colon health and need help deciding where to start, a colon exam at Indianapolis Gastroenterology and Hepatology is a great first step. This could help you support optimal health as you enter this brand new year.

How many individuals are affected by colon cancer each year?

Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer in the United States, and early detection is one of the best ways to enhance an individual’s odds of survival. About 50,000 people in America pass from colorectal cancer annually, with the American Cancer Society estimating 106,180 new diagnoses each year.

It’s true that colorectal cancer is common, but preventing it can be relatively simple. A colonoscopy exam is an effective way to enhance your health and wellness. This screening can help prevent and detect cancer prior to it becoming too advanced to treat. Reach out to Indianapolis Gastroenterology and Hepatology to schedule a colonoscopy in Indianapolis, IN and begin your year with optimal health.

Why is screening for colon cancer essential?

Colonoscopies are the gold standard for colon cancer detection and prevention, and knowing why can help you understand the value a colon cancer screening adds to your health. In simple terms, early screenings for colorectal cancer can save lives, as colorectal cancer is very treatable when detected early on.

Colorectal cancer typically develops from abnormal growths called polyps in the rectum or colon, but a colonoscopy detects and can remove these abnormal growths before they develop into colon cancer. When a precancerous polyp is found during a colon cancer screening, it is often highly treatable and may be removed during the exam.

Understanding your health status is the best gift you can give yourself in the new year. When you are an educated and well-informed patient, you can make better decisions regarding your health. Schedule your colonoscopy in Indianapolis, IN with an experienced colonoscopy doctor to have all your questions answered and your concerns addressed.

Who is at risk for colorectal cancer?

Part of incorporating maintainable changes in your health starts by knowing the risk factors of common medical conditions, including cancer of the colon. Certain factors for colon cancer may have an impact on your treatment or how often you need to obtain colon cancer screenings. Some of the risk factors for colorectal cancer include:

  • Familial history of colorectal cancer
  • Having IBD (inflammatory bowel disease) (Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis)
  • A diet low in vegetables and fruits
  • Smoking
  • Past radiation to the stomach or pelvic area as part of treatment for other cancers
  • A personal history of colorectal cancer
  • Not enough regular exercise
  • A high-fiber, low-fat diet or a diet containing a lot of processed meats

You can reduce your chances of colon cancer by making healthy changes to your diet, creating a new exercise program, and having routine colon cancer screenings. Establishing these habits can give you more control when it comes to your colon health. A colonoscopy with the Indianapolis Gastroenterology and Hepatology team can help you maintain good health as you embark on your journey to a new, improved version of yourself this year.

When should I undergo a colonoscopy screening?

Being aware of your colon health is far more advantageous than wondering if there is a potential problem. A regular colon screening can take less than an hour, meaning your colonoscopy can fit right into your day just as easily as your renewed fitness and diet routine.

The ACS (American Cancer Society) recommends that colonoscopies be performed beginning at age 45 for individuals who are at average risk. If you maintain ideal health and you are not at increased risk, a colon cancer screening once every decade is often sufficient to keep you informed about your colon health.

Around the age of 75, colon cancer screenings are performed based on your health needs and your gastroenterologist's recommendations. Should you have a personal history or a loved one with a history of colon cancer or polyps, you are at a higher risk of getting the condition. Patients with this increased risk need to undergo colon cancer screenings more regularly to safeguard their health.

Schedule a colonoscopy in Indianapolis, IN now

Let us help you make knowledgeable choices about your future and kick off your new year by taking control of your colon health. If you are 45 or older, are at risk because of your lifestyle, or have a history in your family of colon cancer, you should consider starting the new year right by scheduling a colonoscopy at Indianapolis Gastroenterology and Hepatology. This exam only takes around an hour and can give you peace of mind that your colon health is being cared for. If have additional questions or concerns, don't hesitate to discuss these with your colonoscopy doctor during your visit at our Indianapolis, IN gastroenterology practice.