A colonoscopy is a simple procedure that allows our Houston gastroenterologist Dr. Krishnamurthy Shivshanker to look at and examine the lining of the colon and rectum to diagnose issues, detect early signs of colorectal cancer, and more. In fact, a colonoscopy is truly the best diagnostic tool we have at our disposable for detecting colorectal cancer early on when it’s easier to treat.
Of course, our GI specialist may recommend getting a colonoscopy in Houston for these reasons:
Along with diagnosing cancer, a simple colonoscopy can also allow our gastroenterology team to diagnose other digestive disorders such as:
- Crohn’s disease
- Inflammatory bowel disease
People dealing with symptoms such as changes in bowel movements, abdominal pain, and unexplained weight loss may need to undergo a colonoscopy to find out what’s causing their symptoms.
During a colonoscopy, our gastroenterologist may even be able to address certain issues. For instance, we can remove abnormal tissue (to biopsy) and colon polyps, as well as stop digestive bleeds.
This is the most common reason someone undergoes a colonoscopy. In fact, both men and women should schedule their first routine colonoscopy by the time they turn 50 years old (if you have certain risk factors you may want to schedule a colonoscopy a little earlier). If your colonoscopy comes back healthy then you shouldn’t need one for another decade. This simple procedure, which usually takes around 30 to 60 minutes, could just save your life.
What are risk factors for colorectal cancer?
It’s important to know whether you may be at an increased risk for developing colorectal cancer over the course of your lifetime. Common risk factors include:
- Older age (being over 50 years old)
- Being male
- Having inflammatory bowel disease such as ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease
- Having a personal or family history of colorectal polyps or cancer
- Certain genetic disorders such as familial adenomatous polyposis
- Leading a sedentary lifestyle
- Eating a diet high in fat and low in fiber
- Being overweight or obese
- Heavy alcohol consumption
- Tobacco use
Whether you are dealing with unexplained abdominal pain, changes in your bowels or you have just turned 50 years old, your gastroenterologist at Houston Digestive Diseases Consultants wants to make sure that everyone gets the proper diagnosis and treatment they need. If it’s time to undergo a colonoscopy in Houston, TX, then call our office today to schedule a consultation.