Q: Why is getting a colonoscopy important?
Colonoscopy is important because it is a potentially life-saving procedure that can prevent the development of colon cancer. Colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the US, yet it is one of the most preventable types of cancer. This year, 50,000 people are expected to die of colorectal cancer. Screening with colonoscopy could save more than half of these lives.
Colonoscopy does not only find colon cancer but can prevent it by removal of polyps, which are abnormal, precancerous growths in the colon. If polyps are found, they can be removed during colonoscopy, which halts their progression to colon cancer. Typically, colonoscopy is recommended for anyone over age 50, but individuals with increased risk should consult with their doctors.