A colonoscopy may not be your first choice of how to spend your day, but have you ever considered how useful a colonoscopy can be in diagnosing digestive disorders and conditions? By emptying your bowel and allowing your doctor to view your entire colon with the help of a lit colonoscope and a viewing monitor, you can have a clear “picture” of your digestive health! Just look at these seven benefits of having a colonoscopy:
- Colonoscopies help detect colon cancer. One in every 20 Americans will develop colon cancer, and colonoscopies are the most effective means of prevention, diagnosis and treatment. No other colon cancer screening is as thorough and comprehensive.
- Polyps can be removed during a colonoscopy. Most colon cancer develops from polyps, fleshy tumors that begin as benign but have the potential to become cancerous if allowed to grow. During a colonoscopy, your doctor can remove suspicious polyps so that they can never become cancer.
- Colonoscopies can diagnose colitis. Colitis is chronic inflammation of the colon. If your doctor finds inflammation in certain areas of your colon, you can begin receiving treatment immediately.
- Diverticulosis and diverticulitis can be diagnosed during a colonoscopy. Pockets in the intestinal wall can become infected over time and cause pain and discomfort. Your doctor can assess the severity and extent of either condition and recommend a course of treatment.
- Colonoscopies can detect bleeding lesions. Bleeding lesions can be present in many different areas of the colon. A colonoscopy examines the colon from the rectum all the way to the cecum, so your doctor will be able to see the lesions during the exam.
- Colonoscopies are used for abnormal barium x-ray exams. If you have a barium x-ray exam and an area of suspicion is found, a colonoscopy will offer a better view of the affected area of the colon.
- Colonoscopies are the best exam to help diagnose the cause of abdominal pain. Symptoms like anemia, weight loss, abdominal pain, or cramping could arise from many different causes. A colonoscopy can determine whether the symptoms you are experiencing are related to colon disease.