7 Reasons to get Screened for Colon Cancer
Colonoscopy is a diagnostic procedure that allows the doctor to examine the entire length of the large intestine. Colonoscopy can assist in identifying problems with the colon, such as early signs of cancer, inflamed tissue, ulcers, and bleeding. Colonoscopy is also used to screen for colorectal cancer, the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the U.S. and the fourth most common cancer in men and women.
An endoscope, which is a long, flexible, lighted tube (also called a colonoscope), is inserted through the rectum into the colon. In addition to allowing visualization of the internal colon, the colonoscope enables the doctor to irrigate, suction, inject carbon dioxide (air), and access the bowel with surgical instruments. During a colonoscopy, the doctor may remove tissue and/or polyps for further examination and possibly treat any problems that are discovered.
Everyone age 45 or older should have some form of colon cancer screening. Those with a strong family history of colon cancer may need screening earlier than 45. Colonoscopy is a form of colon cancer screening that has the advantage of finding tumors and potential tumors the earliest. Early tumors can also be removed during a colonoscopy. If your colonoscopy is normal and you have no family history, then you will not need another exam for 10 years.
Specialists called gastroenterologists perform endoscopy procedures, as well as some general surgeons and surgeons who specialize in colon and rectal surgery.
If you're healthy and meet the medical guidelines, you can call direct to schedule a screening colonoscopy, after your provider submits your referral to our office . We've made scheduling easier so you do not need to first schedule an office visit with a gastroenterologist. Many patients appreciate this option as they save on co-pay and time away from work.
You meet one of the following criteria:
None of the following apply to you:
Step 1: Ask your primary care provider to refer you for a colonoscopy (the fax number is 425.690.9088).
Step 2: Once you have received approval, call 425.690.3488, to schedule a colonoscopy appointment (lead time is generally 4 weeks). When you call and hear the recorded prompts, first press option 1, followed by option 2.
Step 3: Within one week, you should receive your colonoscopy appointment confirmation and your prescription for Trilyte (or other bowel prep solution) from the Gastroenterology Clinic. Get your prescription filled.
Step 4: Find someone to drive you home (or if taking a taxi, to escort you home) as this is a sedated procedure. Give your escort Pick up Instructions.
Step 5: Carefully read and follow the instructions given to you by your provider.
Step 6: On the day of your procedure, check-in at the Endoscopy Center 45 minutes prior to your appointment time. Get directions to VMC.
You are not eligible for a direct access screening and will be scheduled for a GI consult prior to scheduling you for a colonoscopy.