Screenings That Can Save Your Life
The American Cancer Society estimates that the lifetime risk for developing colorectal cancer is about 1 in 20, with both men and women being at equal risk. Colorectal cancer is the third most deadly form of cancer. It affects Black people and Alaska Natives more than others.
When found early, colorectal cancer is easier to treat and highly curable. So why do thousands of cases in the United States go undiagnosed each year, often resulting in premature death?
With proper screening, colorectal cancer can be detected early. Screening can also help eliminate pre-cancerous polyps that could become cancerous if left to grow.
We recommend that most people age 50 and older with average risk be screened for colon cancer; people with certain conditions, syndromes, or otherwise at higher risk should begin screening earlier. The American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy recommends that African Americans begin screening at age 45.
One important screening test is a colonoscopy. This 15- to 30-minute test enables a doctor to look inside the entire large intestine and into the rectum through a long, flexible, narrow tube with a light and tiny lens on the end. The physician can see things such as abnormal growths and inflamed tissue. While the test is most often used to look for early signs of colorectal cancer, it is also used to look for causes of unexplained changes in bowel habits and to evaluate symptoms like abdominal pain, rectal bleeding and weight loss.
At Pacific Medical Centers, patients can call 1.844.66COLON (1.844.662.6566) and schedule an appointment with one of our gastroenterologists to discuss colonoscopy and other methods of screening for colon cancer.*
Our physicians meet with patients at five of our conveniently located clinics. Procedures are performed at the Pacific Medical Center Endoscopic Ambulatory Surgical Center, located at our offices on First Hill in Seattle and in Bellevue.
*Always check with your insurance provider to find out if you need pre-authorization or to determine the level of coverage your carrier provides for colonoscopy.