Manning Regional Healthcare Center
A Colonoscopy Could Save Your Life
Did you know that symptoms are not always present in those with colorectal cancer? In recognition of Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, Manning Regional Healthcare Center wants to remind those over 50 to receive regular screenings to help protect against colorectal cancer.
“Colorectal cancer isn’t just a disease that affects people over the age of 50,” said Dr. Douglas McLaws, family physician at Manning Regional Healthcare Center. “It doesn’t discriminate between men or women and unfortunately rates have been steadily increasing in younger adults.”
McLaws says the reality is that colorectal cancer – cancer that starts in the colon or rectum – is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer and the second leading cause of cancer death in men and women combined in the United States. This type of cancer is, however, one of the most preventable and treatable types of cancer. The Colorectal Cancer Alliance notes that the five-year survival rate for colorectal cancer found at the early stage is 90 percent, compared to 14 percent for colorectal cancer found at late stages.
“As with any cancer, early detection is key,” said Dr. McLaws. “That’s why screening tests such as colonoscopies are so critical. We recommend all adults between the ages of 50 and 75 to be screened regularly.”
Colonoscopies can help identify cancer early, allow for more effective treatment as well as detect abnormal growths or polyps which, if not removed, can become cancerous. These screenings are vital as colorectal cancer almost always develops from these polyps. Those who have diseases such as Crohn’s or have a family history of colorectal polyps or cancer should talk to their doctor about being tested earlier.
Dr. McLaws, along with MRHC’s general surgeon, regularly provide colonoscopies at MRHC. The procedure lasts about 30 minutes and patients will need someone to drive them home afterward. McLaws explains many people don’t realize that during a colonoscopy, the physician cannot only identify pre-cancerous or cancerous polyps (abnormal growths) but can also remove them during the procedure. This means a potential diagnosis – and cure – can occur at the same time.
“We understand the prep for a colonoscopy can be uncomfortable, but the result of the procedure could allow you to prevent the onset of cancer or begin a treatable and beatable regimen if a diagnosis is made,” said Dr. McLaws.
To schedule a colonoscopy at Manning Regional or talk to one of our trusted experts about colorectal cancer and determine which screening is right for you, please call 655-2072.
What are the Symptoms?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, symptoms of colorectal cancer include:
- Blood in or on your stool (bowel movement)
- Stomach pains, aches or camps that don’t go away
- Losing weight and you don’t know why
If you have any of these symptoms, talk to your doctor to help determine the cause. For an appointment contact us at (712) 655-2072.