Factors that Determine the Need for a Colonoscopy

by | Jun 27, 2012 | Health

A colonoscopy is a diagnostic procedure used to examine the condition of the colon. The colon is located within the large intestine, and the examination allows a doctor to inspect the large intestine from the lower region near the rectum up to the colon, which is located near the small intestine. Cancer that occurs in this region claims many lives every year; the earlier that signs of a tumor are found, the better prognosis there may be for treatment. Houston colon cancer screening clinics make colonoscopies available to those who are over 50 and for those who are at increased risk for colorectal cancers.

A secondary, though less prominent reason for going to a Houston doctor for a colon examination is to discover why changes have occurred in reference to one’s bowel routines. Some of the causes may be tissues that are swollen within the large intestine or around the colon, as well as other types of growths, such as polyps or ulcers.

Usually, the risk for colon cancer begins to increase at age 50, though it can occur in younger people. Regular screening for colon cancer is therefore recommended beginning at age 50, and annually thereafter, in order to monitor for the presence of tumors. When one experiences abnormal changes in bowel habits, a colonoscopy may be recommended in that case on an individual basis.

Other factors that determine risk besides age are family history and one’s own personal medical history. Some studies suggest that in families where there are many incidences of colorectal cancer, screenings should be done at an earlier age. For instance, if a young male’s father, uncles, grandfathers and other relatives have had colon cancer, it is more likely that he may have a genetic predisposition for colon cancer, as well. For individuals who are at risk due to a family history of colon cancer, studies suggest that screenings should begin at puberty, rather than at 50 years old. A Houston colon doctor can provide further guidance for those who do have a family history of colorectal cancer, or who whose own medical history suggests a higher risk for colon cancer.

Appropriate screening and early treatment of colon cancer has in recent years significantly reduced the number of people who have suffered from the condition, as well as the number of deaths caused by it. Early detection is a key factor in beating colon cancer if it is found.

Established by Houston gastroenterologist Dr. Barry D. Winston, North Houston Gastroenterology Clinic (NHGC) and Houston Colon Cancer Screening Center (HCCSC) offer the most advanced diagnostic and treatment methods for colorectal cancer screening, irritable bowel syndrome, ulcerative colitis, acid reflux disease, Crohn’s Disease, and more. To contact North Houston Gastroenterology Clinic, call281.440.3618or visithttp://www.gi-clinic.com/for more information.

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