Doctors explain why the colonoscopy is an important screening - Fox 2 News Headlines

Doctors explain why the colonoscopy is an important screening

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Dr. Harry Wasvary says removing polyps early during a colonoscopy is the "best preventative measure" against colon cancer.  (Credit: Fox 2 News) Dr. Harry Wasvary says removing polyps early during a colonoscopy is the "best preventative measure" against colon cancer. (Credit: Fox 2 News)
SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (WJBK) -

You're exercising, eating right and feeling pretty good about yourself, but when it comes to cutting your risk of colon cancer, the real prevention happens between you, a doctor and a camera at the end of a long tube.

"You need to get a colonoscopy," said Dr. Michelle Vogel with Beaumont Health System.  "Every person in the United States is at average risk.  There's no such thing as a low risk patient once you're 50."

50 is the generally recommended age for the colonoscopy, but here is the beauty of this screening.  It doesn't just search for pre-cancerous polyps.  It gets rid of them.

"About 30 percent of all people will grow polyps, and we don't know why," said Dr. Harry Wasvary with Beaumont Health System.

Your colon, or large intestine, is about five feet long with lots of places for cancer to hide.

"There are small polyps that can grow in your colon.  Those small polyps can grow to become big polyps and could grow to become cancer.  Plucking them out early in life with a colonoscopy is the best preventive measure," Wasvary explained.

There are about 100,000 new cases of colon cancer every year in the U.S.  The bottom line is just because you don't have symptoms means nothing.

"The most common symptom of curable colon cancer is nothing.  So they can't just rely on the fact that they feel good that they don't need it," Vogel said.

Click here to visit the American Cancer Society's website for more information on colorectal cancer and preventing it.

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