A colonoscopy is the most effective screening tool for colorectal cancer
Our experienced Plano gastroenterologist, Michael Weisberg MD, recommends a colonoscopy for patients over age 45 and those at risk for colorectal cancer. This highly effective screening test can detect signs of cancer and find the cause of other gastrointestinal problems.
Dr. Weisberg has nearly three decades of experience as a board certified gastroenterologist, so patients can rest assured that their procedure is being performed by a knowledgeable and highly competent physician.
Why do patients need a colonoscopy?
A colonoscopy is an important diagnostic tool that helps our Plano gastroenterologist uncover the cause of a patients’ symptoms, including rectal bleeding, abdominal pain, chronic diarrhea, changes in bowel activity and unexplained weight loss.
Another reason why patients need a colonoscopy is to screen for colon and rectal cancer. During the procedure, Dr. Weisberg can detect polyps and other cancer or precancerous symptoms. He can also remove the polyps and have them biopsied to determine if they are precancerous or cancerous.
What are the screening guidelines for colon and rectal cancer?
- Patients who do not have risk factors or symptoms of colorectal cancer should have their first colonoscopy at age 45.
- African Americans should have their first screening at age 45.
- If a patient has a first-degree relative (a parent, child or sibling) who has a history of colon cancer or precancerous polyps, he or she needs to have a colonoscopy by age 40 or at an age that is 10 years younger than the youngest relative who has had colon cancer or precancerous polyps. Patients can ask their physician to explain this guideline.
How does Dr. Weisberg perform the procedure?
After patients complete their bowel preparation at home, they arrive for their outpatient procedure. Medical personnel prepare patients for the procedure and give them IV medications, including sedatives to ensure that they do not feel pain during the colonoscopy.
Patients lie on a table, and Dr. Weisberg inserts a thin, flexible instrument called a colonoscope through the colon. The colonoscope includes a very small, high-definition camera that allows our Plano gastroenterologist to examine the rectum and the colon to find polyps, ulcers, hemorrhoids and inflamed tissue.
A colonoscopy is an essential diagnostic procedure, and the skill and experience of the physician who performs it are important considerations. Patients who are due for screening or who have gastrointestinal symptoms should see our Plano gastroenterologist. Contact us for an appointment with our experienced physician.