Reasons You Should See Dr. Berger
If you are 50 or older, and you have none of the additional risk factors mentioned below, a screening colonoscopy is recommended now. If you are African American, your recommended initial screening age is 45 since you are at slightly higher risk. If you have a family history of colon cancer or polyps, or are a smoker, significantly obese, or have had ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease, your initial screening colonoscopy should take place at age 40. If someone in your family has had colon cancer at an unusually early age (before age 50), then your screening exam should begin 10 years before the age of onset for that relative.
If at any time you experience blood in your bowel movement (rectal bleeding), anal pain, change in bowel habits (diarrhea or constipation, straining, change in color or shape), persistent abdominal pain, or low blood count on blood tests (anemia) you very likely should have a screening colonoscopy.
Symptoms & High Risk Factors
- Unexplained weight loss could be an early sign of colon cancer.
- Frequent heartburn (acid reflux), or difficulty swallowing, upper endoscopy may be indicated (upper endoscopy is a brief examination of your esophagus, stomach and small bowel done under a light anesthesia similar to colonoscopy, but only takes about 2 min instead of 10 min for a colonoscopy).
- Family member(s) with colon polyps or colon cancer
- Symptoms of blood in the stool
- Abdominal pain
- If you yourself have had polyps or colon cancer
- Change in bowel habits.
- Unexplained weight loss which could be an early sign of colon cancer.
- You are having frequent heartburn (acid reflux), or difficulty swallowing, or another ‘upper’ abdominal symptom you may require upper endoscopy (a brief procedure to examine your esophagus, stomach and small bowel)