Whether it’s your first, second or third time around the block, getting a colonoscopy in NJ doesn’t have to be a major ordeal. With the right team of doctors and specialists at your side, the process can be quick and easy. For those over the age of 45, checking your colon is not only highly recommended by top doctors; it’s a responsibility you owe to yourself.
Don’t be afraid.
When detected early, colon cancer can be beaten and even avoided completely. Make the right choice and save yourself the struggle of dealing with colorectal cancer in its most advanced stages.
At Gastro Center of NJ, we can help you make the right choice today.
Is It Time to See a Gastroenterologist?
If you’re at the age of 45 or above, it’s highly recommended that you undergo a colonoscopy. This is when the body begins to become at risk of developing polyps or adenomas along the colon. These are grape-like benign (precancerous) growths that are generally harmless, however they have a possibility of becoming cancerous. Polyps are found in approximately 50% of patients who undergo a screening colonoscopy, and these polyps are removed endoscopically without surgery.
If you have already undergone a colonoscopy, your timing for a repeat colonoscopy will vary depending on the number, type, and size of polyps found and removed as well as on your family history. This time frame can range anywhere between 3 and 10 years. Your NJ gastroenterologist will provide full and clear guidance on this process.
Other than age, there are some signs that show you might need a colonoscopy. A colonoscopy can help find the causes of the following symptoms:
- Rectal bleeding
- Lower abdominal pain
- Long-lasting diarrhea
- Unusual bowel habits
- Weight loss
The Colon Cancer Screening Experience
From Preparation to Recovery
The first step of a successful colonoscopy is the discussion you have with your doctor and their preparation instructions. These procedure preparation discussions should include the following topics:
The procedure will begin with a sedative, allowing you to better handle the next 30 minutes. You may experience cramping or bloating; this can be caused by air entering your colon.
After you are sedated, the doctor will insert the colonoscope (a thin, flexible tube) into your rectum and slide up to your large intestine. The camera on the colonoscope will feed live video to a display that the doctor will study during the procedure, searching the lining of the colon for any colon polyps.
While the procedure itself takes anywhere from 20-30 minutes, be prepared to commit at least three hours at the clinic, as you will also need time to prepare and recover.
After the procedure, our healthcare professionals will guide you to a recovery room, where you will wait until the sedatives wear off. Here you might find yourself with cramps and uneasy gassiness; this is completely normal.
When the sedatives wear off, you will be advised on when you can continue taking any medications you paused to prepare for the procedure. The doctors will also inform you when your results will be ready, as well as any other medical advice you might need. And most importantly, do not drive yourself home, as you will be unable to drive safely the day of the procedure.
Other Tests and Endoscopic Procedures
Our specialists can also offer a number of alternative tests. These include:
Need Assurance? Ask Us the Right Questions
Adenoma is another name for polyps, but detecting at least one polyp for every colonoscopy screening isn’t always a guarantee. Professional colonoscopist societies in NJ set the quality standard as 25%, or one detected adenoma for every four screenings, however rates as high as 50% are being reached.
Thorough preparation is vital towards a successful colonoscopy procedure, and while much of this relies on the patient following the instructions properly, the healthcare professionals can play a big part in helping the patient understand just how important effective preparation can be. Ask your doctor in NJ to clarify exactly how much assistance their team provides the patient in understanding preparation and committing to it.
Reaching the start of the large intestine is essential, as this is where the doctor will have the best chance to locate any polyps that might be on your colon. But reaching this area isn’t always a success; there’s sometimes a small chance of failure. Ask your doctor performing colonoscopy how often they reach this area; the standard professional measure is set at 95%, with a doctor only failing 1 out of every 20 times. The majority of the time, the small failure percentage is dependent on the quality of the prep.
Ask us where you can learn more about colonoscopies in NJ and please feel free to call with any questions.
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The Myths Surrounding Colon Cancer
When left untreated, colon cancer can be a silent killer that is responsible for 50,000 annual deaths in the US alone. Approximately 140,000 people are diagnosed with the disease yearly, affecting both men and women.
The key to defeating colon cancer is early diagnosis. However, most people forgo colon cancer screenings because they believe urban myths that have been spread so much they start to ring like actual scientific facts. Here is the life-saving truth about colorectal cancers:
Myth: There is no need to get screened if your family’s health information shows no history of the disease.
Heredity plays little to no role in most colon cancer patients. In fact, only 10 to 20% of diagnosed patients have a family member with colorectal cancer. This disease can affect anyone, and a healthier bloodline doesn’t mean you are immune to it.
Myth: Only Caucasian males are affected by colon cancer.
This is one of the more dangerous myths out there, as it leads to women and non-Caucasian men ignoring the importance of getting a colonoscopy. There are times when women and non-Caucasian men discover that they have colon cancer simply by experiencing the symptoms, as they never bothered to undergo a colonoscopy. Colon cancer kills 24,000 women every year.
Myth: Colon cancer is a hopeless disease. Once diagnosed, there is nothing you can do to overcome it.
Colon cancer can be beaten after discovery. If discovered early enough, it can be prevented entirely through removed polyps. If the cancer has already begun, it can still be treated and removed. 90% of those who are diagnosed with colon cancer during its earliest stages are cured. However, if you fail to undergo NJ colonoscopy and discover your colon cancer in the later stages, you might only have a 10% chance to survive for 5 years after diagnosis.
Myth: The primary symptoms of colon cancer include discomfort in the rectum and colon. Regular bowel movements mean you are safe from the disease.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (or IBS) isn’t the only tell-tale sign for colorectal cancer. Symptoms typically show only after the cancer has progressed to an advanced stage. Danger signs can include anything from rectal bleeding to weight loss to lingering abdominal pain. Colon cancer is a silent killer and is often left untreated. For good measure, anyone over the age of 45 should have regular screening tests for colon cancer so abnormal growths can be retrieved and treated.