MLHS urges patients to get colonoscopies

Why get a colonoscopy? March is Colorectal Cancer Month and Mille Lacs Health System is urging patients to get educated and get screened.

All adults over the age of 50 are at risk for colorectal cancer and should be screened for polyps and cancer. By finding and removing precancerous polyps that can develop into cancer, the disease can be stopped before it ever starts. In addition, screening for colon cancer can detect it early when it is most curable.

Colorectal cancer was projected to be diagnosed in about 71,830 men and 65,000 women in the U.S. in 2014. A similar number of men and women were to have been diagnosed with colon cancer (about 48,400). Approximately 5%, or 1 in 20, Americans will be diagnosed with cancer of the colon or rectum in their lifetime. Death rates increase with age, and also with how far advanced the cancer is when first detected.

The American Cancer Society has identified colorectal cancer as a major priority because the application of existing knowledge has such great potential to prevent cancer, diminish suffering, and save lives.

Many insurance plans cover the cost of screening, but to be sure, please talk with your insurance company about the details.

A colonoscopy can be one of the best things you ever do for yourself. The question isn’t why get one, it’s … why not? See your healthcare provider soon to talk about this important and life-saving test.