Many people are under the assumption or belief that certain medical procedures or screening tests are just not for them. They may think they are the wrong age, gender, or other demographic. This is often the case with colonoscopies, which partially stems from the medical recommendation that people (especially men, but women too) get a colonoscopy once they turn 50. However, just because you are not yet 50 years old does not mean that you should completely rule out the possibility of having a colonoscopy. Get to know some of the reasons that you may want to get a colonoscopy before you turn 50 so you can be sure that you are taking the best possible care of your health.
You Are Having Issues with Diarrhea
If you have been having gastrointestinal issues and have been experiencing chronic or frequent diarrhea, you may be struggling to figure out what is going on. Sometimes, such problems can be the result of a food allergy, stress, or other digestive issues that can be easily treated. However, this is not always the case.
After you and your doctor have worked to try to resolve your diarrhea problem with no luck, the next logical step may be to schedule a colonoscopy. Colorectal cancer, while less prevalent in young adults, can still occur in people much younger than 50. However, a colonoscopy can also check for other irregularities in the colon or rectum that may be causing your chronic diarrhea so that you can get the proper treatment to resolve the issue.
Your Parents and/or Siblings Have Had Colon Cancer
Family history is a strong indicator of whether or not a person will suffer from colon cancer in their lifetime. As such, it is important to get as much family health information as you can.
Generally speaking, you are at highest risk of having a genetic predisposition to colon cancer if one or both of your parents and/or siblings or other close blood relatives have suffered from the condition. In fact, if this is the case, you should definitely talk to your primary care physician about getting an early colonoscopy to screen for polyps (small growths inside the colon) and colorectal cancer.
Knowing your family history and getting early colon cancer screenings can make a major difference in your colon and overall health. Most cases in which a young person (under the age of 50) is diagnosed with colon cancer are diagnosed at later stages (stages III and IV), which makes the cancer much more difficult to treat. Earlier proactive colonoscopies can lead to earlier diagnosis and more treatment options.
Now that you know a few of the reasons why you may want to get a colonoscopy before the age of 50, you can be sure that you are taking the best care of your digestive health going forward.
For a colonoscopy, contact an office such as Northwest Gastroenterology Associates.