Although colonoscopies are seen as instrusive, a hassle, and uncomfortable (all valid points), the truth of the matter is that they save lives. Even if your family doesn't have a history of colon cancer, it's still extremely important to have regular cancer screening checks. This type of cancer is preventable, since cancerous or precancerous polyps can be detected during the screenings and even removed right then and there.
But what if the idea of a colonoscopy makes you nervous? There's even more good news! Colonoscopies are not the only way to screen for colon cancer. There is a non-invasive test which detects blood in your stool, a test which can be easily repeated annually.
There is no financial excuse not to have a screening. Did you know that Medicare covers most types of screenings? They will even cover a preventative colonoscopy once every ten years for low-risk individuals, or once every two years for high-risk people. Many other private insurance plans cover screenings for people over age 50. Check with your plan to find out specific coverage.
How do we know that colonoscopies and other tests save lives? Because the statistics are overwhelming. The following article from the Wall Street Journal emphasizes the saving power of these tests:
From 2003 to 2007, the incidence of colon cancer dropped by 3.4% per year, while the death rate dropped by 3% a year, the CDC says. That adds up to about 66,000 fewer cases and 32,000 fewer deaths than expected. Besides more screening, reductions in risk factors such as smoking and obesity and improved treatments helped lower the death rate.
CDC head Thomas Frieden used himself as an example, saying he had his first colonoscopy at age 40 due to a family history of the disease. That screening found nothing, but a test at age 50 found four noncancerous polyps — two of them large — that were removed.
The report says an extra 1,000 colon-cancer deaths could be prevented each year if the government’s screening target of 70.5% of the eligible population is met. The CDC said last fall that nearly half of colorectal-cancer cases are diagnosed late, when the disease is harder to treat.
Click here to read the entire article.
Although Johnson Family Chiropractic doesn't provide colon cancer screenings to the Peoria community, I highly encourage all my patients over age 50 to consider this procedure. It might be the one thing to save your life, and the procedures are widely available in central Illinois. For example, Methodist Hospital in Peoria offers virtual colonoscopies, among its other cancer screening techinques.
Unless otherwise attributed, all content is written by Kyle Johnson, DC, of Johnson Family Chiropractic of Peoria.
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Although every effort has been made to provide an accurate description of our chiropractic care and its benefits, the information given on this website and blog is not intended to be, nor should it be interpreted as, medical advice for any condition.
If you have any questions regarding your condition, you should seek the help of Dr. Johnson in person, so that he may properly assess your condition.
This blog is provided by Johnson Family Chiropractic of Peoria, S.C., proudly located in Peoria, IL.