What's the best way to test for colorectal cancer? It's the same test your Fair Lawn, NJ, gastroenterologist uses to evaluate bleeding or to treat irritable bowl syndrome. It's the routine colonoscopy, a minimally invasive test which visualizes the interior of the bowel, or large intestine. At North Jersey GI Associates, Dr. Ramesh Gupta performs this tests, giving patients peace of mind regarding their colon health.
The details on colonoscopy
If you are 50 or over, have rectal bleeding, abdominal pain, bloody stools, changes in bowel habits or other problematic GI symptoms, you need a colonoscopy. The American College of Gastroenterologists praises this test as the preferred way to screen for colorectal cancer which is the third leading cause of cancer death in the US, says the American Cancer Society.
To perform an accurate colorectal cancer screening, Dr. Gupta requires his patients to follow a strict bowel regimen the day before the actual test. This bowel "clean out" involves a clear liquid diet and laxatives and gives the gastroenterologist a clear view of the tissues inside the colon.
Day of the test, you'll receive light IV sedation to relax you during your 1/2-hour procedure. You'll rest on your side as the doctor inserts a thin, lighted tube into your rectum. He carefully advances the tube through the large bowel, and a tiny camera and light enable him to view structures, take video and still pictures, remove polyps and take samples of any questionable lesions for biopsy.
When you're done, you'll rest in a recovery area. Because of the sedatives, you'll be driven home by an adult friend or relative.
Frequency of colonoscopies
For many patients, routine colonoscopies happen every 10 years. However, if you have adenomas, or polyps, you will repeat your test every five to seven years or as Dr. Gupta recommends. While most polyps are benign, some can be precancerous or cancerous.
Is it time?
If you've reached your 50th birthday, schedule your colonoscopy with North Jersey GI Associates. Your colon health is so important; so don't delay. Call (201) 794-8900.