A colonoscopy is the first step in preventing colon cancer. Removal of polyps protects a person from getting cancer. In addition, if cancer is found early and removed, the five-year survival rate is 90 percent.
Colon screenings should begin at age 50 for people at average risk while African-Americans should begin screenings at age 45.
Talk with your doctor to determine which tests are appropriate for you.
- Annual fecal occult blood testing
- Flexible sigmoidoscopy every five years
- Double-contrast barium enema every five years
- Colonoscopy (colonoscope is a longer version of the sigmoidoscope and allows doctors to see the entire colon) every 10 years
- Virtual colonoscopy (super x-ray or an advanced CT scan of the colon) every five years
At the UI James A. Clifton Center for Digestive Diseases, our experts can handle anything that is found in your colonoscopy in the least intrusive way possible. We offer the latest in diagnostics-colonoscopy, pill endoscopy and virtual colonoscopy. And if something is found, we have the expertise and tools to remove it during the procedure.
And, our GI physicians work closely with the region's only board-certified colorectal surgeons so if there is need for a surgery, that consult can happen the same day. Sometimes they even work together to do the surgery during the colonoscopy.
Prior to your colonoscopy, please complete the medical history form and fax it to the James A. Clifton Center for Digestive Diseases: 319-384-8559.