Colonoscopy is a medical test, which is very helpful in screening the colon and rectum region for detecting colorectal cancer and other abnormalities. Studies have revealed that colorectal cancer is the third most commonly found cancer type having highest mortality rate. However, the experts also believe that if the problem is encountered at an early stage then there are almost 60 percent of the chances that the patient will recover completely.
How Often Should You Get A Colonoscopy After The Age Of 60?
Now, a question that arises in the mind of people is how often a person needs to undergo the screening process? The answer depends on the condition of the patient and the possible risk of developing colon cancer in the near future. If the report of Colonoscopy reveals that the patient falls in average risk category and if they start the test at the age of 60, then the patient is advised to undergo the procedure once in every decade. If the report reveals that the patient belongs to high risk category, then then the frequency of undergoing the test increases. Also, if the patient has any of the following issue, then also the frequency of the test is increased:
- Family History of colorectal cancer/polyps
- Infection in the bowel lining
- Hereditary problem like Lynch syndrome
The screening procedure for colorectal cancer usually starts from or after the after age of 50, the reason behind this that almost 90 percent of people suffering from this problem are from the same age group i.e. 50 or 50 plus. In most of the cases, colorectal cancers develops because of polyps.
Colorectal cancer screening generally starts at age 50 because colon cancer risk increases with age, and more than 90 percent of cases occur in people ages 50 and over. Most colorectal cancers arise from adenomatous polyps. The entire process i.e. starting from precancerous polyp to completely grown cancer takes almost 10 years or even more. There is no valid proof for the statement because doctors remove the polyps immediately when they see it. The process of screening is very helpful in removing some part of polyps as sample before it actually turn in to a cancerous polyp and it is at this stage when the possibility of treating the problem is at its peak.
Colonoscopy is consider effect and better than other procedures is because it helps in detecting high number of polyps and cancerous tissues. Also, the removal of affected tissue or polyps for further examination is taken immediately. However, just like other procedures this also has some share of cons like it is high expensive and in most of the cases insurances does not cover the expenses done on colonoscopy, anesthesia is a must for the procedure to take place smoothly and the bowel prep before the test is not at all pleasant. On an average one in every 400 colonoscopies lead to some serious consequences such as:
- Internal and external bleeding
- Abdominal pain
- Colon inflammation
- Colon perforation
Although, these consequences occur very rarely, but still if the patient feels skeptical about the procedure then there are other screen options available, which they can opt for. In the year 2008, guidelines were published about the various aspects of different colorectal cancer screening and also the frequency by which it can be performed on the patient. CT colonography is one of the latest screen techniques, but because it is very new so there are no much evidences available about how safe and effective the procedure is and also it’s other aspects. However, this test is still gaining a lot of acceptance.
In this procedure, also bowel preparation is required just like it is required in colonoscopy, but in this case no colonoscope is put inside the body of the patient and also no anesthesia is given to patient before the procedure. If in case any problem is detected during the procedure then colonoscopy is done to remove the sample of polyps and other affected tissues.