Dr. Daniel Alpert performs colonoscopies in New York, NY, for patients concerned about colon cancer. According to the CDC, colorectal cancer is the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States. You should be screened yearly between the ages of 50 and 75, even if you are not having any symptoms.
Colonoscopies can find and remove precancerous polyps even when you haven't had any symptoms, which is why a colonoscopy is recommended every 10 years. Your gastroenterologist will want to know your family history because if a family member has had colon cancer you could be at an elevated risk. If you are at an elevated risk for colon cancer, your doctor will recommend different screening tests so that you have one every year.
If you experience any of these symptoms, make an appointment to come see us in New York, NY:
- Abdominal pain. Everyone has pain in the gut sometimes, but persistent abdominal pain with cramps or gas isn't normal and could be a sign of tearing of the bowel.
- Blood in the stool. Blood in the stool also changes the color of the stool to black.
- Diarrhea that lasts longer than a week.
- Constipation that lasts longer than a week.
- Any other change in bowel habits, including any incontinence.
- Unexplained weight loss. Most patients with colon cancer lose weight at some point.
Any of these symptoms could mean you have precancerous polyps in the colon, but these can also happen without you ever experiencing symptoms which is why yearly screenings are so important. If it's not time for you to have a colonoscopy, your doctor may recommend a different screening test that involves a stool sample or a less invasive procedure called a flexible sigmoidoscopy.
If you are concerned about colon cancer, Dr. Daniel Alpert is here for you in New York, NY. Contact us for an appointment at (212) 599-7910.