According to the National Cancer Institute, approximately 135 thousand people will be diagnosed with colon and rectal cancer in 2017. An additional 50 thousand people are expected to die of the disease. Early detection is key to surviving cancer, and Bharat Pothuri, MD, and the team at GastroDoxs in Greater Houston have the most powerful screening tool available: colonoscopy. If you live in the Cypress, North Houston, Texas, area, call or schedule an appointment online to discuss your level of cancer risk and screening options.
A colonoscopy is a test used to screen for certain intestinal problems and as a diagnostic tool to determine what might be causing your symptoms. During the exam, Dr. Pothuri uses a tiny camera to make a visual inspection of the inner lining of your rectum and colon.
A colonoscopy can reveal numerous issues, including:
During the procedure, Dr. Pothuri may also perform a biopsy or remove abnormal growths in the colon or rectum.
For those who have no family history of colon cancer or other intestinal issues and are not showing colorectal symptoms, a good time to have your first colonoscopy is age 45. Research suggests that African Americans should come in for the exam five years sooner.
If you have a close relative with a history of colon cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, or precancerous polyps, you are advised to have your first colonoscopy when you are 10 years younger than the relative was when they were diagnosed, or by age 40, whichever is earliest.
These guidelines are the same for both women and men, as colon cancer poses an equal risk for both genders.
Once your colonoscopy is scheduled, Dr. Pothuri will go over the necessary preparation with you in detail. Part of that process includes a thorough cleaning of your colon, which requires that you follow a strict liquid diet enhanced with laxatives the day before your test.
You should arrive at GastroDoxs an hour and a half before your procedure. Once you’re in the exam room, you remove your clothing and put on a gown; then an IV is started to provide the necessary medication. Dr. Pothuri sedates you and monitors your condition as your body adjusts. Once you’re sufficiently sedated, the exam begins.
If you’re at an elevated risk of developing colon cancer or are experiencing any intestinal symptoms, call GastroDoxs to schedule a screening appointment. We are conveniently located in Greater Houston and look forward to meeting you.