Happy Birthday, Now Here's Your Colonoscopy

Happy Birthday, Now Here's Your Colonoscopy

A colonoscopy is probably not at the top of your to-do list, but if you're 45 or older it should be.

Published April 18, 2011

I get it, a colonoscopy is probably not at the top of your to-do list, but if you're 45 or older it should be. Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer in Black men and the second in Black women and getting a colonoscopy is the best way to catch it early and shut it down.

“Those are very compelling reasons to have the screening at 45,” Dr. Duane Moise said in a statement. “We’re not sure why there is a higher rate among African Americans but it is documented. I urge African Americans to have a colonoscopy at age 45.”

Not only do Blacks have a higher rate of risk, but they're more likely to die from it. Why? Because Blacks don't just get plain old colon cancer, they're more likely to get it in the right colon, which is more difficult to diagnose.

Colorectal cancer is just another name for colon cancer and develops in your large intestine (your colon) or the rectum, which is the business end of your colon. Since the colon's job is mainly to take what nutrients it can from your waste before packaging and shipping it out of your body, it's no surprise that having a poor diet is a huge risk factor.

Call your doctor if you notice:

— Black or tar-like stool

— Blood in the toilet after use

— Drastic change in bowel movements

— Chronic pain in the lower abdomen

 

(Photo: Stephan Jansen/Landov)

 

Written by Brandi Tape

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