Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death among men and women combined in the United States. Sadly, 60% of colorectal cancer deaths are preventable with regular screening. At Maria Palafox, MD, in San Antonio, Dr. Palafox offers valuable testing through colonoscopies. To learn how you can gain the upper hand when it comes to colorectal cancer, call or book an appointment online.
A colonoscopy is a procedure that allows Dr. Palafox to carefully examine the inside of your rectum and colon using specialized imaging equipment.
While the thought of a colonoscopy may not be pleasant, in reality, it typically lasts only 30-60 minutes, and you’re given medications to keep you relaxed throughout the procedure.
In fact, the bulk of the work happens before your colonoscopy because you need to ensure that your colon is clear before Dr. Palafox can perform the visual examination. To prepare, you’ll need to:
When the field is free and clear, Dr. Palafox can perform the colonoscopy. Here’s how it works:
If Dr. Palafox sees anything abnormal during the exam, she’s able to remove a tissue sample for testing, and she’s also able to remove small polyps during the procedure.
After the procedure, you’re monitored for 30-60 minutes, and then you’re free to go. Since you’ll receive medication that makes you drowsy, you should arrange for someone to drive you home.
If you don’t fall into a high-risk group, you should have your first colonoscopy when you turn 50. If your results are normal, you should return every 10 years for another colonoscopy.
If Dr. Palafox finds polyps during your first procedure and removes them, she’ll want to see you more frequently. This frequency depends on the number of polyps Dr. Palafox removes, as well as the results of the tests done on your polyps.
In these cases, Dr. Palafox sits down with you to come up with an appropriate timeline for follow-up tests.
To learn more about this potentially life-saving screening tool, call Maria Palafox, MD, or book an appointment online.