Find out the reasons why a colonoscopy may be performed.
A colonoscopy is a procedure that our New York City board-certified gastroenterologist Dr. Azeem Khan performs quite frequently. A colonoscopy makes it possible for our team to be able to look at the inside of the large intestines (or colon) and rectum. It’s an important tool for all gastroenterologists and something that all people will need at some point during their lifetime. Our New York City gastroenterologist may recommend a colonoscopy if,
- You’re experiencing persistent or recurring abdominal pain
- You notice changes in your bowels (e.g. chronic diarrhea or constipation; or both)
- You notice blood in the stool or black stools
- We suspect that your anemia may be due to a bleed within the digestive tract
- You need to be screened for colorectal cancer
- You show signs of colon polyps or colon cancer
- You show signs of inflammatory bowel disease (e.g. ulcerative colitis; Crohn’s disease)
While a colonoscopy can be used to diagnose everything from inflammatory bowel disease to colorectal cancer, this is also an incredibly important preventive tool for our New York City gastroenterology team. With millions of Americans being diagnosed with colorectal cancer each year, one of the best ways to both prevent colorectal cancer and detect cancer early is by performing routine colonoscopies.
When should I get a routine colonoscopy?
Both men and women at a normal risk for colorectal cancer should schedule a colonoscopy with a qualified gastroenterologist as soon as they turn 50 years old. If you are at high risk for developing colorectal cancer, you should talk to your doctor about your risk factors and determine whether or not you should get your first routine colonoscopy at age 45. If your first colonoscopy yields normal findings (meaning that you have a healthy intestinal tract), then you probably won’t need to undergo your next routine colonoscopy for another 10 years.
What puts you at risk for colorectal cancer?
While everyone should get a colonoscopy regardless of their risk factors, it’s still important to know your risk. Risk factors for colorectal cancer include,
- Family history of colorectal cancer
- Personal history of colon polyps
- Type II diabetes
- Being overweight or obese
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Older age
- Heavy alcohol consumption
- A diet that is high in processed foods and meats
- A sedentary lifestyle
Whether you’ve just turned 50 years old and would like to schedule a routine colonoscopy with our New York City gastroenterology team or you are dealing with persistent digestive problems, schedule an appointment with Dr. Khan at Forest Hills Gastroenterology by calling (718) 268-0418