Saving lives by making colonoscopies more convenient
Getting a colon cancer screening can be an uncomfortable topic for some people to talk about, but the truth is it can save your life. March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. It’s meant to educate people about the importance of diseases that can affect the colon and rectum. Often times your first line of defense to prevent these is with a colonoscopy.
Colon cancer in many ways is preventable, but can’t be detected without screening.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, colorectal cancer is the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States. It’s also the third most common cancer in men and in women. So when should you be getting a colonoscopy? The American Cancer Society now recommends starting at age 45 and getting one every 10 years. If you have a family history of colon cancer or health issues specific to the colon, you should start even sooner and more frequently after consultation with a doctor.
The Hospital of Central Connecticut is making it convenient for people to get this life-saving screening. Patients can go online or call to schedule their own colonoscopy. The procedures are offered at the Hospital of Central Connecticut (HOCC) New Britain Campus Monday through Friday and the HOCC Bradley Campus in Southington on Saturdays. Patients will initially have to answer an intake form and will then be contacted by a medical professional to schedule their colonoscopy if they qualify for the procedure.
If you’d like to schedule your colonoscopy through The Hospital of Central Connecticut, you can call 860.224.5199 or visit www.thocc.org/colonoscopy .
If you need a colonoscopy and don’t know where to start, this is a quick and convenient way to get it done. Even if you’ve had a colonoscopy in the past and you know you’re due for another one, we can take care of that for you.
When it comes to prepping for a colonoscopy, a doctor will prescribe a laxative that is taken the day before to help empty your colon. Patients will be given clear instructions of expectations prior to the procedure, which is done under anesthesia. After the procedure is complete, the patient is sent home.
A doctor will provide an update to the patient about any findings or concerns from the screening. The information will then be sent to your primary care physician, if you have one. In either situation, next steps or treatment options can then be discussed.
If we do find something, it’s usually a polyp and we are able to remove those during the procedure. Colon cancer starts in the polyp form and can spread from there. The longer it stays there the more invasive it becomes.
Anyone who’s been putting off a colonoscopy due to concerns with covid-19 is encouraged not to delay a colon cancer screening any longer.
At the start of covid when we had to delay elective surgeries, colonoscopies fell into that category. So there are people who put off their screenings or are worried about coming to the hospital. The truth is nobody should be putting off this type of screening. We are safe and ready to care for you.
Kyle Hunchak is the regional director of perioperative services at The Hospital of Central Connecticut and MidState Medical Center. For more information about scheduling your colonoscopy call 860.224.5199 or visit www.thocc.org/colonoscopy