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Jake Keator
|
November 18, 2022

If you’re turning 45 in 2023, now is the time to schedule your first colonoscopy!

 

As 2022 draws to a close, a new generation of Americans will become eligible for their first colonoscopies. Following guideline updates published by the United States Preventative Services Task Force (USPSTF) in 2021, 45 is now the recommended age to begin preventative colorectal cancer screenings. With a rise in early-onset colorectal cancer in the United States, it is imperative that patients follow through on their screenings, following the recommended 10-year intervals. Below are some common questions for those eligible for their first colonoscopies.

Why Should I Get a Colonoscopy?

Colonoscopies are referred to as the “Gold Standard” of colorectal cancer screenings due to their high degree of accuracy and ability to remove pre-cancerous polyps in one procedure. For many patients, colonoscopies can come at little to no cost.

Despite being crowned “The Gold Standard” of colorectal cancer prevention, some patients continue to opt for alternative treatment options due to a perceived ease-of-use advantage and needed less of a time commitment, however positive outcomes of these tests will lead to non-preventative colonoscopies, resulting in increased costs and time.

The colonoscopy is the only procedure that allows physicians to not only identify pre-cancerous polyps but remove them in the same procedure. As a preventative service, many patients can receive colonoscopies for little to no cost.

Colonoscopy Prep

Another common note from patients is the lack of desire to complete colonoscopy prep as dictated by their physician. While prep can be time consuming and unenjoyable, it is critical for patients to closely follow the directions of their physician to provide the best results and outcomes during their procedure. Failing to properly follow or complete colonoscopy prep can result in a delayed procedure, creating the need to start the preparation process again.

Should I be Nervous About My Procedure?

Of course not! Colonoscopes are extremely effective in providing positive outcomes and can save the lives of patients! Advancing technology, such as the inclusion of artificial intelligence, has continued to boost the rates of positive outcomes, and ensures that physicians are able to ensure that they remove all polyps during your procedure.

When Should I Schedule My Procedure?

Patients should reach out to their physician to determine the best time to schedule their procedure. Timing may be dictated by birthdate and availability of your physician. The important part is ensuring you are on the books, making sure that you receive prep instructions, and complete the process as directed.

In conclusion, if you or a loved one are turning 45 this year be sure to reach out to your physician to begin scheduling your colonoscopy. While it may seem daunting, the procedure itself is short, and can ensure that you remain safe and healthy well into the future. Remember, colonoscopies are not a one-and-done procedure and should be scheduled every ten years until directed by your doctor. As the “Gold Standard” of colorectal cancer prevention, colonoscopies provide a low-cost, high-quality result, helping to keep you healthy for years to come.