Colonoscopy is the gold standard test for colon cancer screening, and it’s also a helpful diagnostic tool for many other intestinal disorders and diseases. At Northern Virginia Gastroenterology, P.C., the team of premier gastroenterology specialists, including Lance Lasner, MD, and Nisha Chand, MD, offers colonoscopy procedures in their state-of-the-art offices in Centreville, Sterling, and Chantilly, Virginia. Call the office nearest you or click the provided link to book your appointment now.
Colonoscopy is a procedure to visualize your large intestine and rectum. This in-office procedure can help to detect the earliest signs of colorectal cancer, including precancerous polyps, so you can get treatment and prevent the disease. It can also help to diagnose other problems in your large intestine and rectum.
During a colonoscopy, a very thin tube, containing a miniature camera and light, obtains images of your large intestine and rectum through your anal opening. The Northern Virginia Gastroenterology, P.C. team can then use those images to identify issues and diagnose disease.
In many cases, colonoscopy is also a treatment procedure. If the team discovers precancerous polyps during your colonoscopy, they can immediately remove them.
Colonoscopy is the gold standard procedure for colon cancer screening. Current colon cancer screening guidelines include:
All people with an average risk of colon cancer should start colon cancer screening at the age of 45. Average risk means that you have no current symptoms of colorectal issues and don’t have a family history of colon cancer, polyps, Crohn’s disease, or ulcerative colitis.
People with an increased risk of colon cancer includes those who have at least one parent, sibling, or child who has or had precancerous polyps or colon cancer. If you’re in this category, you need to schedule a colonoscopy when you’re 10 years younger than the youngest age of colon cancer or polyp diagnosis in your family member, or at the age of 40 (the younger of the two ages).
Certain other circumstances can require a different timeline for colon cancer screening, so the team can recommend the schedule right for you.
Colonoscopy can also diagnose other conditions and diseases, including diverticulosis, Crohn’s disease, and ulcerative colitis. You may need a colonoscopy if you’re having possible symptoms of digestive tract disease, like abdominal pain, bloating, or chronic constipation.
The Northern Virginia Gastroenterology, P.C. team provides you with detailed instructions before your colonoscopy procedure. Usually, this includes making diet changes starting a minimum of a full day ahead of the procedure.
You’re typically able to have clear broth, tea, ginger ale, sherbet, and clear fruit juice. Avoid red or purple liquids or foods as they can interfere with imaging. You’ll need to fast completely in the time just before the procedure.
Bowel prep (cleaning your bowels out completely) is an important part of preparing for a colonoscopy. The team will recommend the laxatives and/or enemas that suit your situation best, so be sure to use the products exactly as directed.
Colonoscopy requires just a day of your time and there’s no hospital stay needed. This routine colon cancer screening can save your life, so call the Northern Virginia Gastroenterology, P.C. office nearest you or book an appointment online now.