Posts for tag: Colonoscopy
Find out why everyone should get routine colonoscopies once they reach 50 years old.
While no one wants to believe that colorectal cancer can happen to them, colorectal cancer is the third most diagnosed cancer in both men and women in the US; however, there is good news! We’ve seen a decrease in mortality rates over the last few decades and this might be due to an increase in patient education, as well as an increase in people turning to screening tests like colonoscopies for early detection.
Our Forest Hills and New York City, NY, area gastroenterologist, Dr. Azeem Khan, is here to tell you more about this procedure and why it’s performed.
What is a colonoscopy?
As you can probably imagine, it’s rather difficult to be able to know what’s going on inside the body without being able to see it for yourself. Luckily, doctors have a lot of medical tools and advanced technologies to help them safely see every organ of the body for diagnostic and treatment purposes. A colonoscopy is no different. This small flexible tube is inserted into the rectum and guided through the lower intestines to check the health of the colon and rectum.
Why is a colonoscopy performed?
A colonoscopy is a great screening, diagnostic and even treatment tool for our Forest Hills and New York City GI doctor. This in-office procedure can help us determine the cause of rectal bleeding, changes in bowel movement, unexplained weight loss or even abdominal pain.
A colonoscopy is also a common screening tool to detect early signs of colorectal cancer. In fact, it is the most effective screening tool at our disposal and it’s important that every man and woman, no matter their risk factors, receive routine colonoscopies by the time they turn 50 years old.
What are the risk factors associated with colorectal cancer?
Risk factors for colorectal cancer include:
- Age (most people diagnosed with colorectal cancer are over 50 years old)
- Being diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
- A family history of colorectal cancer or colorectal polyps
- A sedentary lifestyle
- A diet high in processed, fatty foods and low in fiber
- Tobacco usage
- Heavy alcohol use
How often should I get a routine colonoscopy?
If you just turned 50 years old, this is the right time to schedule your first colonoscopy. If results come back normal then you won’t need another colonoscopy for about 10 years, unless you are at an increased risk for developing colorectal cancer. If we find a colon polyp then you may need to have a colonoscopy every five years.
Whether you just turned 50 years old or you are dealing with gastrointestinal symptoms that are concerning to you, the expert at Forest Hills Gastroenterology in Forest Hills, NY and serving the New York City area is always here to help. Call our office today and let us know what’s going on. We would be happy to get you the next available appointment.
Colonoscopies offer an important way to protect your gastrointestinal health. New York City, NY, gastroenterologist Dr. Azeem Khan of Forest Hills Gastroenterology discusses the test and explains what doctors look for during a colonoscopy.
What is a colonoscopy?
Colonoscopy offers a minimally invasive way to examine the lining of your colon. During the procedure, a thin probe called a colonoscope is passed into your colon and the lower part of your small intestine via your anus. The lighted colonoscope contains a miniaturized fiber optic camera that transmits images of the lining of your colon to a digital screen. As your gastroenterologist passes the scope through your colon, he'll be able to see every inch of the lining on the screen.
What problems can be detected during a colonoscopy?
Colonoscopy is often used to:
- Screen for Colon Cancer: More than 135,000 people in the U.S. are expected to be diagnosed this year with colon cancer, the fourth most common type of cancer, according to the National Cancer Institute. Because your risk of colon cancer rises as you grow older, initial colonoscopies are recommended for both men and women at age 50. If the initial colonoscopy doesn't reveal cancer or other health issues, you probably won't need another colonoscopy for 10 years. During the test, your gastroenterologist looks for polyps, lesions, bleeding or other signs that could indicate that you have cancer.
- Remove Polyps: Polyps, small growths that form in the lining of the colon, can be benign, pre-cancerous or cancerous. The only way to tell if a polyp is cancerous is to remove it during a colonoscopy and send it to a laboratory for analysis. Polyp removal can be done during your colonoscopy and involves inserting a small instrument into your anus and colon.
- Diagnose Diseases and Conditions: A colonoscopy can be a valuable diagnostic tool if you have chronic diarrhea or constipation, abdominal pain, unexplained weight loss, rectal bleeding, changes in bowel movements or bleeding. The procedure can help your gastroenterologist determine the cause of your symptoms. In some cases, problems can even be treated during a New York City colonoscopy. For example, bleeding can be treated with injected medications or tools that seal off leaking blood vessels with heat.
Protect your gastrointestinal health with a colonoscopy. Call New York City, NY, gastroenterologist Dr. Azeem Khan of Forest Hills Gastroenterology at (718) 459-8460 to schedule an appointment.
Find out if everyone, at some point in time, should get a colonoscopy.
While discussing who has had a colonoscopy probably won’t be the opener at your next cocktail party, it’s still an important part of your health that you should consider (even if you don’t want to discuss it publicly). It might be time to visit our NYC area, board-certified gastroenterologist Dr. Azeem Khan for a colonoscopy if:
- You are a man or woman over the age of 50
- You have a personal or family history of colorectal cancer or colorectal polyps
- You are a smoker or heavy drinker
- You have Crohn’s disease, colitis or other inflammatory bowel disorders
- You are obese
- You are dealing with rectal bleeding
Why should I get a colonoscopy?
This is the easiest and most reliable way to check for signs of colorectal cancer. While there are other procedures such as a flexible sigmoidoscopy that could be used, no other test has been proven to be as accurate for detecting colon cancer than a colonoscopy. Of course, if other tests suggest that you might have colorectal cancer or precancerous polyps, then a colonoscopy will need to be performed.
What does a colonoscopy entail?
During the procedure, our NYC area GI doctor carefully and gently places a thin, flexible tube with a camera at the end into the rectum. As the scope is slowly guided through the lower intestines, this camera will help our doctor see every area of the colon to check for polyps or other signs of cancer. A colonoscopy is typically performed under IV sedation, where you are asleep but able to still fully breathe on your own. Most patients don’t even remember their procedure when they wake up.
If polyps are found during the colonoscopy they can easily be removed and sent away for testing. We may also biopsy certain suspicious areas, if necessary. In most instances, a colonoscopy only takes about 30 to 45 minutes, depending on whether polyps need to be removed or not. If everything comes back normal and you don’t have any risk factors then you may not need to get another test for 10 years.
Forest Hills Gastroenterology in the New York City area is dedicated to providing everything from routine to diagnostic gastrointestinal services to meet your ever-changing needs. If you need to schedule your colonoscopy or if you have questions about symptoms you are experiencing, don’t hesitate to call us today.
A colonoscopy helps find colon polyps, tumors, ulcers and areas of inflammation or bleeding. Dr. Samantha Nazareth and Dr. Azeem Khan at Forest Hills Gastroenterology, located in Forest Hills, NY, and serving the New York City area, offer appointments for colonoscopy services. Read on to find out when you should have a colonoscopy.
1. You are 50 years old or older.
Individuals who are at average risk for colon cancer should have a colonoscopy at the age of 50. Over 95 percent of all colon cancer deaths occur after age 50. Colonoscopy is an exam that uses a long tube with a camera and light to look inside your colon and rectum.
2. Colon cancer runs in your family.
You should get your colonoscopy if you have colon cancer in your family history. A colonoscopy allows your doctor in the New York City area to search for polyps, cancer or other diseases. Colon cancer starts in either the rectum or the colon. Symptoms of colon cancer include stomach pain, rectal bleeding, weight loss, weakness and low red blood cells. A colonoscopy can diagnose cancer before the symptoms start.
3. You have health insurance.
Once an individual reaches 50 years old, most colonoscopies are covered with no copayment or co-insurance under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Remember that prevention is better than a cure. There are no financial implications, so there's no reason why everyone should not have one.
4. You want to live a long life.
Colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States. The good news is that with a regular screening, the cancer is almost completely preventable. According to a recent study, colonoscopies can reduce the risk of dying from colon cancer by about 53 percent.
Don't take risks with your health. Your health is your most valuable possession. To schedule a colonoscopy appointment, call Forest Hills Gastroenterology in Forest Hills, NY, serving the New York City area at (718) 459-8460 today. A simple colonoscopy could save your life!