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Getting a Colonoscopy at Southeastern Med

Though not as widely publicized or talked about, colon cancer is actually the third deadliest form of cancer for both men and women. This makes it all the more important for anyone over the age of 45, regardless of gender or medical history, to schedule a colonoscopy (unless otherwise instructed by their physician). If your initial colonoscopy is normal and you are not at increased risk for colon cancer, you may not need another exam for ten years! You don’t need to travel far afield for your exam, either, as Southeastern Med offers the latest in advanced colonoscopies, with an experienced team ready to discuss your results and, if necessary, any next steps. For patients without specific risk factors for colon cancer, a yearly stool FIT test or every three year stool Cologuard test can be utilized instead of a colonoscopy.

Thanks to modern medical technology, colonoscopies are very safe and more effective than ever at detecting suspicious polyps or other abnormalities in the colon and rectum; often before they have a chance to become cancerous. Patients who are found to have cancerous polyps benefit from early detection, as well, as prompt treatments have led to a gradual increase in the colorectal cancer survival rate over the past few years. Of course, in the medical industry, we’re never satisfied with gradual improvement when there is clear, proven potential to do so much more. Because we’ve seen what a remarkable difference regular colonoscopies can make in saving lives, Southeastern Med is doing all we can to make these vital screenings available to as many people as possible at a reasonable cost. The first step is asking your physician for a referral, but for too many folks, that’s also the first challenge.

Due to societal norms and attached feelings of shame or embarrassment, many people struggling with colorectal health problems are often hesitant to discuss it with their doctor, let alone arrange for a colon screening. Overcoming this obstacle is very important, because the longer a person waits, and the longer polyps are allowed to go undetected and untreated, the greater the odds that a life threatening form of colorectal cancer could develop. And as with any type of cancer, treatment becomes far more difficult once the disease has reached an advanced stage.

“If a majority of Americans [over 45] were appropriately screened for colorectal cancer, the death rate would plummet by at least one half,” says Dr. Michael Sarap, Director of Southeastern Med’s Colorectal Cancer Team.

While anyone over 45 is welcome to take the wise, precautionary step of seeking out a screening, it’s also important to be aware of the potential symptoms of a serious colorectal health problem, as it might require more immediate attention. These can include:

  • Bleeding from the Rectum
  • Blood in the Stool (could appear red, maroon, or black)
  • Changes in Stool Pattern / Consistency / Shape lasting more than a few days
  • Feeling unable to empty the rectum even after a bowel movement

To learn more, or to discuss any concerns you may have about the cost of a colonoscopy, contact Southeastern Med’s Colon Project today at 740.435.2400 or Nurse Navigator 740.439.8117.

 

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