Who Should Get a Colonoscopy?

How does colonoscopy help prevent colon cancer?

colonoscopyColon cancer is the number two killer in the United States. It is a treatable disease and can be prevented in many circumstances. The screening process for colon cancer usually requires a colonoscopy. This is an invasive procedure which should only be done by an expert. Colonoscopy allows doctors to see the colon and is the gold standard in colon cancer screening. Dr. Jeffrey Weber talks about who should get them and when in this video.

To learn more watch “Who Is at Risk for Colorectal Cancer and When Should Screening Begin?

Video Transcripts

Jeffrey Weber, MD: Colorectal cancer screening is vital. Colon cancer is the number two cancer killer in the United States and over 90 million people are diagnosed each year. Currently in the United States, 22 million people are behind in their colon cancer screening. Colon cancer screening as recommended by GI societies and surgical societies throughout the United States includes colonoscopy at 50, for most Americans and African-Americans would be screened earlier at 40 to 45 because of an earlier incidence of the disease in that population.

Colorectal cancer screening generally is recommended to be done through colonoscopy. Initially, there is a controversy regarding screening because of cost and there are other recommendations in terms of annual screening for fecal blood in the stool, flexible sigmoidoscopy in combination with annual occult blood in the stool screening, but the gold standard continues to remain to be colonoscopy. If your colonoscopy is normal at age 50 then another exam should be done 10 years later if you have no family history of colorectal cancer. If you have polyps found at the initial colonoscopy, a followup exam will be done in three to five years depending on the type of polyps found, the number of polyps found and the size of the polyps that were removed at the time of the initial study.

Colonoscopy screening is currently being done in the United States by gastroenterologists and by colorectal surgeons. These examinations are a part of their training and their fellowships and they are highly skilled and able to do the exams. Currently, it is recommended that your examination be done by a well qualified board certified gastroenterologist or general surgeon.

Dr. Jeffrey Weber
Dr. Jeffrey Weber, Chief of Medicine at Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA) at Western Regional Medical Center, earned a medical degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he also earned a bachelor’s degree. Following medical school, Dr. Weber completed both an internship and residency in internal medicine at the Georgetown Division of the District of Columbia General Hospital in Washington, D.C. He then moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin and completed a fellowship in gastroenterology at the Medical College of Wisconsin.
Dr. Jeffrey Weber

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