Plan to Have a Colonoscopy Before Year's End (and Maximize Your Deductible)
As we head into the fall and winter months of 2022, now is a prudent time to assess the state of your health and your wellness goals for the upcoming year. One idea to help make sure you stay on top of your goals might be to schedule your recommended colorectal cancer screening with a qualified GI specialist.
Although other testing methods are out there, in the world of colon cancer screenings, colonoscopy stands out as perhaps the most efficient and reliable of all tests available. The specialists at Hattiesburg GI Associates, PLLC regularly provide colonoscopies to give patients the opportunity to catch indicators of colorectal cancer early on and to provide care for related issues concerning the colon. Read ahead to hear more about colonoscopy screenings offered by our Hattiesburg, MS gastroenterology team.
What makes colonoscopies the preference for colon cancer screening?
Along with helping evaluate for signs of cancer, a colonoscopy allows your gastrointestinal specialist to ascertain the general wellness of your colon and rid you of any colon polyps they find during the screening.
Colonoscopy screenings are often a good idea for patients who are at least 45 years of age or for those who:
- Suffer from specific inflammatory bowel conditions (including Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis) that are known to elevate the chance of developing colorectal cancer
- Have a family history of bowel cancer
- Are part of specific demographic groups (African Americans are at a higher risk of getting colon cancer than individuals of other groups, though no group is without risk)
- Consume a diet low in fiber and high in fat and calories
It's important to talk with a digestive health expert to understand your cancer risk and when a colonoscopy is right for you.
When is the ideal time for me to have a colonoscopy?
In the big scheme of things, there is not a "right" or "wrong" time in one's life to be proactive about caring for your health. Pragmatically, however, deductibles are due to reset for the majority of health insurance policies on Jan. 1. If you have already reached your deductible, this might be the optimal time to get in a colonoscopy in Hattiesburg, MS, and take advantage of your obligation having already been met. If you're enrolled in a plan with a flexible savings account (FSA), near the end of the year is the time to apply the remaining money that can't roll over into 2023.
Also, completing any necessary health screenings before January 1 can set you up to start the new year knowing that you are on top of your health needs.
Exactly how do colonoscopies work?
A colonoscopy screening is a common procedure that is given in a private setting either at your provider's office or your nearest endoscopy center. After arriving at the exam site and making preparations, you will lie on your side, and a member of our staff will administer intravenous (IV) sedation in measured and controlled amounts to manage both your comfort and safety during the exam. Once sedation is administered, your Hattiesburg GI Associates, PLLC GI doctor will begin the colonoscopy screening by gently inserting a scope into your rectum and up through the colon, checking your bowel health through a camera mounted inside the end of the device. Based on the results of the colorectal screening, the test commonly takes approximately 15 – 30 minutes to complete.
Schedule your colonoscopy in Hattiesburg, MS
Colorectal cancer is responsible for greater than 50,000 deaths annually in the United States, but the odds of survival increase markedly when the cancer is recognized and combated early in its development. This is the reason it's of the utmost importance to work with a skilled colonoscopy doctor who can identify the signs of cancer and treat you if ongoing treatments are needed. With the knowledge and resources of our physician-led network of GI specialists available, our providers with Hattiesburg GI Associates, PLLC can't wait to help you ring in a new year with your health as a top priority. For more information regarding screenings for colon cancer or to connect with a colonoscopy doctor in Hattiesburg, MS, please get in touch with our gastrointestinal office today.