“I Feel Fine. Do I Really Need a Colonoscopy?”
January 1st marked a new year and March 1st will mark the beginning of Colon Cancer Awareness Month—these are two great dates to commit to scheduling one of the only routine screenings in modern medicine that can actually PREVENT cancer: a colonoscopy. Every year, thousands of people seek mammograms and prostate exams with vigilance to detect cancer. Yet many of these same people avoid getting screened for colon cancer, the nation’s second deadliest form of cancer.
“But I feel fine.”
That’s the thing about colon cancer.
Most people “feel fine” and have no symptoms until the disease has reached an advanced stage, when treatment is less effective. A colonoscopy is the only procedure that allows your doctor to find and remove colon polyps before they become cancerous.
Think it can’t happen to you? Consider the facts:
FACT: If you are 50 or older, you are at risk. Colon cancer affects individuals equally, regardless of gender and, typically, race. Studies suggest African Americans have a higher incidence of colon cancer and, therefore, should consider screening earlier at age 45.
FACT: Approximately 80 percent of colon cancer cases occur in people without symptoms or prior family history. Having a family history increases your risk and means you may need to be screened before age 50.
FACT: In its early stages, colon cancer generally has no symptoms. In later stages, when treatment is less effective, symptoms such as rectal bleeding, abdominal pain, or unexplained weight loss, may develop.
If you are 50 or older (45 for African Americans), schedule your colonoscopy. Most insurance plans, as well as Medicare, cover a colonoscopy. No one says it’s fun, but it’s not difficult or painful and it could save your life or the life of someone you love.
For more information about colon cancer and prevention, visit our website at www.capitaldigestivecare.com or request a free information kit at firstname.lastname@example.org or (240) 485-5207. Capital Digestive Care has 16 offices conveniently located throughout the Washington Metropolitan Area, including, Montgomery, Howard, Prince George’s, and Frederick counties.
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