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5 Reasons to Schedule a Colonoscopy ASAP

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5 Reasons to Schedule a Colonoscopy ASAP

Apr 06, 2023

The early detection of cancer saves millions of lives each year. A colonoscopy is one of the tools used by specialists to detect cancer, polyps, or irritated tissues in the colon and rectum. 

Colorectal cancer is the second most common cause of cancer death in the United States. However, when the disease is caught in the early stages, the survival rate goes up to 90%

Below, we asked our specialists at Carolina Digestive Health Associates to share 5 reasons why you might need a colonoscopy right away. 

1. You have a family member suffering from colon cancer

If you have a first-degree relative who has colon cancer, your risk of developing the cancer is significantly higher than normal, especially if your relative was diagnosed with it before the age of 60. 

We’re all at a higher risk of cancer as we age. However, if the cancer developed at a younger age, it could be an indication that genes played a role. 

2. Iron deficiency 

Anemia can be a sign of colon cancer. As the tumor inside bleeds, you lose blood and red blood cells. In women, a heavy menstrual cycle can also cause an iron deficiency. 

3. Blood in the stool 

Blood in the stool can be another sign that a tumor is bleeding inside the intestines. Sometimes blood can turn your stools red or black. 

However, blood in the stool isn’t always a sure sign of cancer. Hemorrhoids, anal fissures, or inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) can also cause this symptom. It’s worth visiting a medical professional to determine the root of the issue. 

4. You don’t feel relief after using the restroom 

Do you often feel “full” or like you haven’t experienced any relief after using the bathroom for number two? If so, it could be that your bowels are blocked by a tumor. 

5. You’re 45 or older

Although colorectal cancer is rare, your chances of developing the disease increase significantly after the age of 45. 

As you grow older and are exposed to more toxins with carcinogenic potential, accumulating more damage to your cells, your risk for colorectal cancer increases. Age is a risk factor for all types of cancer. 

Learn more about getting a colonoscopy 

A colonoscopy is a painless yet mildly uncomfortable procedure. While you lay on a bed, one of our specialists introduces a long, flexible tube with a camera and a light via your rectum. The camera provides images of your rectum and colon that specialists can use to make a diagnosis. 

If you’re experiencing symptoms or are in one of the risk groups, contact us to schedule an appointment at one of our offices around the Charlotte, NC area.