The Endoscopy Department at Hamilton Medical Center is proud to provide superior care and expert diagnostic services. Ensuring the safety, comfort, and privacy of our patients are our most important goals.
To learn more about Hamilton’s Endoscopy Services, call 706.272.6559.
Screening for colorectal cancer:
There are a variety of different screening methods available, however, colonoscopy is the only one that can inspect the entire inside of the colon for signs of cancer and, at the same time, remove or biopsy polyps. The American Cancer Society recommends that both men and women have a colonoscopy every 10 years beginning at age 45.
Persons with any of the following colorectal cancer risk factors should begin screening procedures at an earlier age and be screened more often:
- Family history of colorectal cancer or polyps
- Personal history of colorectal cancer or polyps
- Personal history of chronic inflammatory bowel disease
What is a Colonoscopy?
Colonoscopies allow physicians to see the colon (large intestine) and remove precancerous polyps before they can become malignant. Most health insurers cover the cost of colorectal cancer screenings. A colonoscopy is an outpatient procedure that usually takes less than 30 minutes, although it may take a little longer if a polyp is removed or biopsied. To ease any discomfort, medication is given to help the patient relax. During the test, a doctor examines the lining of the colon with a colonoscope, a slender, flexible and lighted tube with a tiny video camera on the tip.
Reasons for the Procedure
A colonoscopy may be used to examine colon polyps, tumors, ulcerations, inflammation, diverticula (pouches), strictures (narrowing), and foreign objects within the colon. It may also be used to determine the cause of unexplained chronic diarrhea or gastrointestinal bleeding or to evaluate the colon after cancer treatment. Colonoscopy may be indicated when the results of a barium enema and/or sigmoidoscopy warrant further examination of the colon. There may be other reasons for your physician to recommend a colonoscopy.
The Endoscopy suites at Hamilton Medical Center consist of 13 private rooms, four Endoscopy procedure rooms, a Bronchoscopy room and a motility lab. The Endoscopy Unit provides a waiting area specifically designed for the families of Endoscopy patients only. We have the capability of providing Moderate Sedation or Monitored Anesthesia Care.
Other Methods of Colon Cancer Prevention
In addition to undergoing regular screenings, there may be other ways to help prevent colorectal cancer, including getting a minimum of 30 minutes of daily physical activity, maintaining a healthy weight, not smoking, eating calcium-rich foods, and limiting the consumption of meat.