Find out whether it might be time to consider getting a colonoscopy.
A colonoscopy is a procedure performed by our New York gastroenterologist Dr. Daniel Alpert to detect colorectal cancer. To this day, a colonoscopy is still the most effective way to look for subtle changes in the lining of the colon and rectum that could be early warning signs of cancer.
No matter whether you are a man or a woman, a colonoscopy will become part of your medical screening once you reach the age of 50. Depending on the results of your first colonoscopy, we can determine how regularly you will need to come in for your next one. If the results come back normal, you will most likely not need a colonoscopy for another 10 years.
Of course, a colonoscopy isn’t just used to detect colorectal cancer, it can also detect other gastrointestinal issues, as well. For example, if there is an ulcer or bleeding in the lower intestines, this procedure will help our New York GI doctor detect the issue and sometimes treat the problem during the colonoscopy, itself.
So, what symptoms may warrant getting a colonoscopy?
Here are some warning signs that should have you calling us for an evaluation,
- Bowel habit changes: This means anything from diarrhea and constipation to blood in the stool. If your stool is extremely narrow this could also be a sign of a blockage.
- Abdominal cramps: While everyone deals with gas-related cramps every once in a while, if this is something that occurs regularly, you will need to talk to our gastroenterologist.
- Unexplained weight loss: Sure, shedding a few unwanted pounds can be wonderful; however, if you find that you suddenly lost about 10 pounds without trying, then this could be a warning sign of a serious illness.
- You have risk factors: If you have Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis then you are an increased risk for colon cancer. Furthermore, smokers, as well as those with high cholesterol or high blood pressure are also at an elevated risk.
If you just turned 50 years old or you are experiencing unexplained gastrointestinal symptoms, it’s important that you have a digestive specialist in New York who can provide you with the diagnostic and screening procedures you need. Call Dr. Daniel Alpert today at (212) 599-7910 to schedule your next appointment!