Signs that You Should Have a Colonoscopy
Most people have heard from their physicians and from cancer prevention organizations about the need to have a colonoscopy at age 50. Having a colonoscopy at age 50 is one of the most effective ways to detect and prevent colorectal cancer. When detected early, colorectal cancer can be completely removed and you can go on to enjoy a long and rewarding life; people who avoid getting a screening colonoscopy at this age may not detect cancer until it has metastasized and can no longer be treated successfully. There are other reasons to have a colonoscopy besides cancer screening. If you experience any of the following symptoms, you should contact your doctor and discus whether a colonoscopy is right for you.
Rectal bleeding can occur for many reasons. It could simply be a symptom of straining due to constipation, or it could result from an injury. You might be suffering from hemorrhoids; in which case some minor rectal bleeding can be expected. However, if you are experiencing profuse rectal bleeding or the bleeding is concerning to you in any way, you should talk to your doctor about getting a colonoscopy to rule out any tears, lesions, or other health complications that could be causing it.
Bloody stools are something that should prompt you to see your physician. Your doctor will conduct an exam and talk to you about your health and habits. He or she may decide that a colonoscopy is the best way to determine why you’re experiencing bloody stools. Other tests, such as an endoscopy, may also be recommended.
Irregular Bowel Habits
Excessive or chronic diarrhea, or excessive or chronic constipation, may both require a colonoscopy to help determine the cause. A colonoscopy lets your doctor examine the lining of your large intestine, take any necessary biopsies, and determine if something in your intestinal tract is creating the bowel problems.
If you believe you may need a colonoscopy, the first step is to consult with a skilled NYC gastroenterologist. Gramercy Park Digestive Disease Center (GPDDC) is home to top board-certified gastroenterology physicians, with extensive experience in digestive disease diagnosis and treatment. Call (212) 979-3237 to learn more about our GI services and treatments.