Dr. Hess recently participated in Mercy Hospital West’s Happy Hour Presentation where he spoke about the importance of Colonoscopy screening. The interval between colonoscopy procedures depends on many various clinical, social and family history variables.
First is if a person has had polyps, the polyps are removed and tested to see if those polyps can become cancerous so it may require a colonoscopy sooner than every ten years to check to see if more polyps have regrown in the colon since the last colonoscopy. If a patient has a family history of colon cancer, this will effect when a person should come in for their next procedure. Also, a patient’s own health can affect how often they should be screened; people with Breast or Ovarian cancer should be screened more often because studies have shown a correlation between those cancers and colon cancer. Make sure to keep your Gastroenterologist informed of any changes in your health. Finally, the symptoms a patient is having can change when they should be screened; symptoms like changes in your bowel, pain, and/or blood in the stool.
Dr. Hess explained the reasons for revising the timing of your next colonoscopy. In addition to the factors listed above, you should also make sure your physician is aware of any symptoms you might develop, any significant changes in your medical history or your family history. If you are interested in Mercy Hospital West’s Happy Hour Presentations they are done quarterly, it is free and there are multiple presentations from physicians located on the Westside.