You could qualify for a FREE* screening
* “Free” screenings available to patients with Texas Based insurance. Your insurance will be billed for this procedure, however, you will not be required to pay for the procedure to take place. *
Keep Reading, Find Symptoms below!
If you’re new around here, I am Dr. Meah. I am a board certified gastroenterologist with a passion for learning about, exploring, and educating on the human digestive system. On this page, I want to discuss something that drives me to do this work every single day. Today, I want to talk to you about colon cancer.
You know, it’s interesting to me that Colon Cancer is by far one of the most preventable cancers that have been discovered, yet it has the second highest mortality rate. For the longest time, I asked myself, “why is this so?”
As a GI Specialist (Gastrointestinal) I quickly learned that the reason for this is that people just plain weren’t looking. What’s worse, they were blaming the symptoms of colon cancer on other more curable conditions like Hemorrhoids. People would apply over the counter medications, and never get it checked out.
That’s when I set out to make a change. Now, I’ve done thousands upon thousands of colon cancer screenings. The good news, is that usually if there’s something small (like a polyp) in the colon, I can simply remove it during the screening. The bad news is that people are waiting much too long to come see me for their screenings.
That said, by Texas law, colon cancer screenings are legally required to be covered by all major health insurance carriers including the new Obamacare plans. If you meet the criteria, there is absolutely no reason for you to avoid your screening.
So, what is the criteria, should you get checked? Keep reading and we’ll educate you on everything you should know about colon cancer screenings.
Love and light,
Who is At Risk?
Risk Factors for Colon Cancer or Colorectal Cancer
Age 40+ (Anyone over 50 really must have a screening. 95% of Colon Cancer deaths are in patients 50 years or older.*) African American patients should be screened every five years starting at age 45!
If you’re under 45 but have any of the following:
- Family history of colo-rectal cancer
- Family history of polyps
- Family history of Ulcerative colitis
- Family history of Crohn’s disease
- Family history of Familial polyposis
- Family history of Peutz-Jeger’s disease
Pain during elimination (when emptying bowels)in combination with anything on this list
Family history of colon / colorectal cancers or pre-cancerous polyps
Inherited syndromes (If you’ve inherited any defects / syndromes of the colon / digestive system, it’s wise to test earlier in age)
Some people have no tell tale signs of colon cancer before it arrises, You must make a judgement call and decide if it is something that you need to undergo as a precaution.
“But I’m Completely Healthy!”
Before turning into colon cancer, 90% of cases see a small polyp in the colon before showing any notable symptoms. If caught at this stage, this is very easy to treat DURING the same Colonoscopy (without another appointment!), and in fact is the true “window of opportunity” for your GI physician.
Where can I go to get a Colon Cancer Screening done?
In the area’s surrounding our office, we’re the only GI Center that offers these procedures in our office. That means you not only avoid extra fees, time, and parking hassles, but your procedure is handled by your doctor in a comfortable setting that you’ve come to know and trust.
The center specializes and focuses on Colonoscopy, removal of polyp or other lesions in a wellness environment. We pride ourselves on making the procedure as simple and pain free as is possible and we’re committed to making comfortable and content.
At Your G.I. Center thousands of colonsocopies have been done by our team of competent doctors, nurses and techs because we focus on one thing, providing you with the best care when it comes to your screening.
Our State of the Art Surgery centers have all the latest equipment and cutting edge technology. Your screening is done with privacy, efficiency and in an extremely comfortable painless condition. In fact many of our patient’s ask us, “When will my procedure be done? ” after the colonoscopy had already been done and they are in the recovery room!
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Do I need to have a Colon Cancer Screening?
Colon cancer is one of the most preventable cancers to be diagnosed, the unfortunate part is that it is still the second leading cause of cancer deaths in our country. Every year, over 50,000 people die of colon cancer, and another 120,000 people are diagnosed. You have the power to help change that.
How can I help Change it?
1) Get screened, every 10 years is recommended. If you’re over 50, or at any age if there is a family history of colon cancer. If you’re unsure, come talk to us, we’ll help you decide if this test is something you need.
2) Spread awareness, spread the information to your friends and family. With timely intervention, 90% of these cancers can be completely prevented.
How can I prevent colon cancer?
People do not realize that over 90% of the colon cancers grow out of precancerous lesion called polyes in the colon. It takes several years from polyp to go into cancer stage. This is the window of opportunity folks! A preventive or screening colonoscopy will detect the polyps before they turn into cancer or at the very early stage of cancer called “dysplasia”.
As long as it is removed in these stages, one can prevent the colon cancer. Colonoscopy is the only procedure that can not only diagnose the polyps but also at the same time remove it, thus eliminating the problem before it can turn into cancer.
When should I consider getting a colon cancer screening?
If you have no risk factors, colon cancer screening should be done as soon as you turn 50 years old. In our office we call it ” the fifty thousand mile checkup!“. But if you have risk factors, it should be done earlier than 50 years of age.
What does colon cancer screening mean?
Screening means that you have no problems what so ever. You would like to come in and have a colon screening done because you have turned 50 years of age without showing any signs of abdominal concerns or rectal discomfort.
That is why colon cancer is such a silent killer. You might not have family history or problems regarding your colon, but that does not eliminate you from having the polyps in your colon.
That is why your primary care physician and your insurance companies encourage you to get a screening done as soon as you turn 50 years of age. If precancerous lesion can be removed at its early stage from your colon, then you have just saved your life.
What is the difference between a Diagnostic Colonoscopy and Colon Cancer Screening ?
Both require you to have a Colonoscopy, but the difference is that you would be showing signs of problems, which require the physician to take a diagnostic approach to resolve your concerns. Some people have symptoms like bleeding, bowel habit change, abdominal pain or other abdominal symptoms. When you have symptoms then you may need a Colonoscopy irrespective of your age or family history. Because you have some symptoms or problems it is not screening any more, it is called Diagnostic Colonoscopy.
How expensive is it to have a Colonoscopy or Colon Cancer Screening done?
In Texas, all insurances cover the cost of preventive Colonoscopy and in fact some of the plans cover 100% of the cost. Generally the cost is much lower in Your G.I. Center compared to a hospital when you go for your screening. We are in network with most of the major plans and will do a pre-certification prior to scheduling you for any procedure for your benefit plan.
What does the doctor think about Colon Cancer Screening?
“In this day and age, no one should be deprived of the benefit of colon cancer screening and there is no reason for not preventing 90% of the colon cancer in this country,” states Dr. Meah. But the success of preventing this disease lies in the cooperative efforts of both physicians and general public. Give yourself or your family member a “Gift of life”.
Colonoscopy saves lives. Call Your G.I. Center if you need any further information.
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