A colonoscopy is the diagnosis of the large intestine for any symptoms and signs of infections and diseases. This medical procedure is carried out by a gastroenterologist physician. This screening is useful in the prevention of the risk of colon cancer.
4 Factors to consider how often should you have a colonoscopy
The time it’s warranted
Colonoscopy screening starts at the age 50 — the colonoscopy checks and test for adenomas or cancer. When the risks are not found, then you can test after another ten years. If the risks of cancer, and two small, and low-risk adenomas are found, they have to be removed and then you have to do another screening in five to ten years. Screening is not recommended after 85 years.
How often should you have a colonoscopy depends on the recommendation by the doctor. Your health care provider has to give you a prescription of when and how often should you have a colonoscopy. First, your health status has to be checked if, you have inflammatory bowel disease, any history of cancer or adenomas risks within parents, sibling or a child, and any health problems.
Risks associated with the screening
You cannot have more often colonoscopy screening because it poses risks. These risks include heavy bleeding, tears in the large intestine, severe abdominal pain and it poses problems to people with high blood pressure and heart diseases. This means that the screening on itself comes with inconveniences such as sedation, preparation before the test which you have to restrict your diet, and you may miss a day to go to work after the test. This is a factor which also determines how often should you have a colonoscopy.
People with conditions which are at high risk of colorectal cancer need to start colonoscopy screening before the age of 50 years, and the tests can often be. People diagnosed with high-risk conditions are;
- A person whose history is of colorectal cancer and adenomas polyps occurrences.
- Hereditary colorectal cancer syndrome in a family.
- People have colorectal cancer risk factors even before 50 years.
- People are having a history of inflammatory bowel disease due to ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease.
- People with a history of multiple, large or high-risk adenomas.
There are different screening tests for colorectal cancer which can be used alternatively before finally subscribing to colonoscopy screening. These are flexible sigmoidoscopy and stool tests with Fecal Immunochemical test, FOBT (Fecal Occult Blood Test) and Cologuard. Remember all these tests have their pros and cons and preparation is the most important way before the tests.