Published on March 17, 2018

Happy 50th Birthday, Here's Your Colonoscopy

Imagine it's your 50th birthday, what's on your agenda? Maybe your loved ones are planning a surprise party, or you're going on that long awaited three week cruise to Greece, or maybe you're keeping it simple with a night at home with your family toasting to a solid 50 years in the book. Among all of this celebration, there is one more thing you'll need to put on your calendar, something that has the potential to help you reach more milestone birthdays—your colonoscopy.

A colonoscopy may not be what you envisioned as a gift to yourself, but it doesn't have to be as stressful as you think. "We do our best to reassure our patients that they'll be kept comfortable throughout the entire procedure through adequate sedation," explains Nithin Karanth, MD, board certified gastroenterologist at Attleboro Gastroenterology Associates.

The nitty gritty of screening involves the dreaded "prep." This step is required as your doctor needs a clear view of your colon. This means you have to do your part and essentially "clean house." Thankfully, the prep process has improved over the years and the amount of magical cleanser you have to drink is less. It goes without saying that you'll want to be in the comfort of your own home with an assortment of books, magazines and maybe even a few television shows you want to catch up on. You'll want to keep your mind busy as unfortunately, your diet is quite restricted during this process, think clear broths, juices and the like.

"You'll be sedated during the procedure,"; explains Dr. Karanth. "We examine the colon through a colonoscope which allows us to identify any abnormalities within the lining of your colon. We can remove polyps and small cancers during the screening, allowing us to catch cancer in its early stages. If the disease isn't caught early, patients may have to undergo a colon resection and other cancer treatments such as chemotherapy."

Statistics on colorectal cancer are scary. According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), it is the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths in both men and women in the United States, further demonstrating why it's important to schedule your colonoscopy. The standard for screening is to have a colonoscopy every 10 years at the onset of turning 50. But there are exceptions to the rule, if you have a family history of cancer or colorectal polyps you should talk to your doctor about screening earlier.

To schedule your colonoscopy, please call Attleboro Gastroenterology Associates at 508-222-2021.

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