Colonoscopy age reduced to 45, saving more lives
BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) - The American Cancer Society recommends that people at average risk of colorectal cancer start regular screening at age 45.
Physician Assistant, Hannah Helm, says lowering the screening age from 50 to 45 increases insurance approval and access to colonoscopies.
“It is 100% worth it to move forward with screening at age 45. I’ve seen patients present with symptoms much earlier than that, and if someone presents symptoms, we will certainly screen them appropriately and get them taken care of as well,” Helm said.
For those still hesitant to make an appointment for a colonoscopy, Helm says Central Texas Endoscopy Center can determine whether or not you are an appropriate candidate for direct access screening over the phone. She also says the more patients that walk through that door, the more cancer they can prevent.
“We want to stress the importance of early detection of these colon polyps. Colon cancer is largely preventable. If we can detect colon polyps and remove them, we can prevent cancer,” she said.
Helm says if you have a family history of colon cancer, it’s important to start screenings earlier than 45.
“We recommend you start screenings 10 years before your family member who has colon polyps or colon cancer. If that family member was diagnosed at 40, your screening age is 30,” she explained.
You can schedule an appointment with Central Texas Endoscopy Center here.
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