What Should I Know About Initial Colonoscopy Screenings?


One of the best methods of protecting against or identifying colon and rectal cancer early on is ensuring you have regular colon and rectal screenings. Unfortunately, about 50% of eligible adults have not completed their first colonoscopy screening. Per the American Cancer Society (ACS), those with an average risk of developing colorectal cancer should start routine screenings when they are 45 years old.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that millions of individuals in the U.S. are not having colon cancer screenings as recommended, lowering the chance for detecting the condition early. To find out if you are eligible for an initial colonoscopy test, reach out to the team at GastroArkansas to schedule an appointment. Our accomplished GI doctors commonly conduct colonoscopies for Little Rock, AR individuals.

What is a colonoscopy screening?

A colonoscopy screening is a form of colon cancer evaluation that is performed with a thin, bendable device containing a camera. The device is inserted through the rectum and on into the colon by a GastroArkansas gastrointestinal specialist to scan for polyps (growths) or other irregularities that might be occurring. When concerns are found, they often can be removed during the procedure using biopsy forceps and cautery snares. Patients are given a safe, quick-acting sedative before the colonoscopy to help them undergo a colonoscopy without any discomfort.

What happens after undergoing a colonoscopy exam?

After your first colonoscopy is complete and the anesthesia begins to wear off, our Little Rock, AR medical team will discuss any results with you. Should we uncover an issue that calls for a more in-depth assessment, your GI doctor will design a proper treatment program individualized for your medical needs. We strongly suggest that you have someone close to you drive you home following your appointment. After the effects of the anesthesia have subsided, you should be able to resume your regular routine and diet within a day. At times, individuals notice mild symptoms after having a colonoscopy, such as abdominal cramps, bloating, and excess gas that can last a few days. If you are affected by severe pain, bleeding, or fever, you should get immediate medical attention.

How frequently should I get colonoscopy screenings?

Experts recommend that people having an average chance of developing colorectal cancer start to receive screenings when they are 45. Routine colonoscopy assessment should be received at ten-year intervals until a person reaches 75. Following age 75, every patient should speak with their GI practitioner regarding screening intervals that best suit their healthcare requirements.

Why is it recommended to get regular colon cancer screenings?

While a colonoscopy procedure can detect initial colorectal cancer, the process can also identify potential sources of additional GI conditions, including chronic alteration in bowel habits (constipation and/or diarrhea), abdominal/anorectal discomfort, abrupt or unexplained weight loss, bleeding and anemia, and hemorrhoids. The immensely trained gastroenterologists at GastroArkansas provide advanced techniques and therapies to identify and address a wide range of diseases impacting GI health.

How can I arrange for my first colonoscopy in Little Rock, AR?

Routine screenings for colon and rectal cancer are the optimal option for diagnosing the disease. If you are age 45 or older with an average risk of colon or rectal cancer, we encourage you to schedule your first colonoscopy at GastroArkansas as soon as you can. Please reach out to our friendly staff today to book a colonoscopy consultation with one of our Little Rock, AR GI specialists.