Colonoscopies Save Lives
While colorectal cancer is one of the most common cancers in the U.S., it is also known for being one of the few cancers that can be prevented. By scheduling regular colonoscopies, you can catch colorectal cancer in its earliest, most treatable stages.
Colorectal cancer almost always develops from abnormal growths in the colon or rectum called polyps. These can easily be detected during a colonoscopy. All polyps found during routine screenings are promptly removed before they can develop into cancer. The Cooper gastrointestinal experts provide lifesaving colonoscopies to South Jersey residents. Our connection to the local community stretches back more than 130 years. During that time, we’ve continually provided effective treatments and tests thanks to cutting-edge technology and a team of renowned physicians.
Why Choose Cooper for Your Colonoscopy?
A colonoscopy is one of the most effective ways to identify colorectal cancer early. The sooner these cells are identified, the more effective your treatment will be. It’s recommended that average-risk men and women begin testing at age 50.
- If you have a family history of colorectal cancer, however, you’re considered a high-risk patient and it’s recommended that your screenings begin earlier. Consult with your physician to determine the timing that is right for you.
Most colonoscopies are covered by insurance. For men and women without insurance or who are underinsured, free colon cancer screenings are available through our cancer outreach and screening program.
Prepping for a Colonoscopy
Your colon has to be empty and clean to ensure our physicians have high visibility during your screening. You’ll receive clear, specific instructions from your doctor ahead of time so you know exactly what to do.
If you have additional questions throughout the preparation process, your doctor or one of our nurses will go over specifics with you. Our open lines of communication ensure you’re ready and prepared for what comes next.
During the Procedure
Colonoscopies are brief, taking just 30 minutes or so. At the start, a sedative is administered, allowing patients to sleep through the entire process.
After you are sedated, a thin, flexible tube is inserted to navigate the inner walls of the colon. The goal is to identify small polyps that can eventually turn into cancer.
After the procedure may still feel quite groggy from the sedative, you will need to arrange safe transportation home ahead of time.
Will there be side effects afterwards?
You may feel some slight bloating, cramping, or gas pains immediately after the procedure occurs. These mild pains come from the air that is pumped into your colon during the screening. If a polyp was found or a biopsy was performed during your colonoscopy, you might notice traces of blood in your stool for a day or two afterwards.
It is extremely rare for serious bleeding to occur, but if you do experience heavier bleeding, it’s recommended you contact your physician immediately.
Other Forms of Colon Cancer Screening
While colonoscopies are considered the gold standard for the early identification of colon cancer, there are alternative procedures that can be just as effective. If you want to explore alternative options, some of the most common include:
- Stool tests for blood (FIT)
- Barium enemas (X-ray)
- Stool DNA tests (Cologuard)®
- CT colonoscopies
Talk to your doctor about the best test for you.