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Why Colonoscopies are Important and When You Should Get One

    • June 5, 2023
    • Wellness
    • 3 minute read
  • Judith Ford, MD

Scheduling a colonoscopy can cause anxiety. But at ArchWell Health your doctor can let you know if you need a colorectal screening, discuss any concerns you have and help you set up an appointment.

The Cleveland Clinic says that colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer and the second most common cause of cancer deaths. But these statistics do not need to scare you! Regular colorectal screens can find the early signs of cancer and help you get the care you need.

Before covering why colorectal cancer screenings are important and how you can meet with an ArchWell Health provider to schedule one, this article will talk about what age ranges you should have regular colon screenings.

What age should you start and stop colonoscopies?

The American Cancer Association suggests that individuals at moderate risk for colorectal cancer should receive their first colonoscopy at the age of 45 and maintain regular colonoscopies and screenings until the age of 75, as determined in planning with their doctor. Seniors between the age of 75 and 85 should talk with their doctor about continuing these screens. Some reasons seniors in the 75 to 85 age range may decide to schedule a screening include a personal history of bowel disease or a family history of colorectal cancer. The ACA suggests seniors over the age of 85 do not receive colonoscopies. Call your ArchWell Health center today to find a time to discuss if you should receive colorectal screening.

What types of colorectal screenings are available?

Colorectal cancer screening can help detect the earliest signs of colon and rectal cancers by detecting polyps and cancerous masses. Unfortunately, the early stages of colon cancer will not cause symptoms, so it is crucial to work with a doctor to get screened.

There are multiple test options for individuals, including stool-based tests which look at your DNA and blood to determine if you may have irregular colon or rectal growth.

Will colonoscopy preparation be uncomfortable?

Finally, colonoscopies are not as uncomfortable as you may think. Doctors have improved the colonoscopy preparation process in the last decade. If you have not had a colonoscopy in many years, you will be surprised to hear there are more options than having to drink an entire gallon of laxative solution. New prescription and over-the-counter methods have made it easier than ever to get ready for your appointment.

To talk with a doctor about colorectal cancer screenings call your ArchWell Health center today. ArchWell Health providers see new members every week and we would be happy to talk to you about how you can become an ArchWell Health member.

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About the Author

Judith Ford, MD, Chief Clinical Officer

Growing up with a father as a physician and a mother as a nurse, Judith Ford, a Medical Doctor (MD), has always had an interest in the medical field and caring for others. After attending college and medical school, she began practicing with a focus on taking care of older patients with complex conditions. With this mission in mind, the move to ArchWell Health was a natural fit. When not practicing medicine, she’s spending time with her husband, Chris, and her children, Sara and Jane.

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