For me, getting a colonoscopy was another way I could protect my health,” explains Mary Alexander of Commerce Township. Misleading information and anxiety about pain and feeling embarrassed have given colonoscopy a bad reputation. But, this screening
test often offers the best chance to diagnose a troubling, uncomfortable or even life-threatening health issue.
“I’m glad I had it done,” continues Alexander. “There’s great peace of mind in knowing that everything is OK.”
Colonoscopy is a diagnostic procedure that allows doctors to closely examine the large intestine, or colon. It involves a long, flexible tube with a light and tiny camera at the end. The camera projects images doctors can view to spot:
The ability of the colonoscopy to find colon polyps makes it a highly effective screening tool for colon cancer. “Most polyps are harmless, but some types increase the risk for colon cancer,” explains Michael Biederman, D.O., a Botsford Hospital gastroenterologist. “During a colonoscopy, I can remove small polyps, which may lower or eliminate your cancer risk. I also can take tissue samples from tumors or larger polyps for further examination.”
Caucasian adults age 50 and older and African-American adults age 45 and older should get checked for colon cancer. Having a colonoscopy every 10 years is one viable testing option. If colon cancer runs in your family, your doctor may recommend screening at an earlier age. But, colon cancer screening isn’t the only reason doctors recommend a colonoscopy. Doctors also use it to help diagnose:
Michael Biederman, D.O., is board-certified in internal medicine and gastroenterology.
For a Botsford gastroenterologist, call 1 (877) 477-doc1 (3621).
New high-definition video monitoring equipment installed at Botsford this
year has further improved the process. When biopsies of the colon are
needed, physicians have an even
better view of the colon than they did with standard definition equipment.