Screening Colonoscopy

A screening colonoscopy is performed solely for the purpose of screening asymptomatic persons by searching for early stage colorectal cancers before they cause symptoms, and, importantly, for colon polyps, benign growths which might give rise to a colon cancer if allowed to continue to grow in the colon. When found during a colonoscopy, these polyps are removed at the same time they are discovered, thereby preventing their potential transformation into a colorectal cancer at some future time.

For those in whom an early cancer is actually found during the screening colonoscopy, the likelihood of cure is far greater than it would be if the diagnosis were delayed until these cancers were established enough to cause rectal bleeding, a change in bowel habits, or other symptoms. Because of the proven effectiveness of screening colonoscopy for the prevention of death from colorectal cancer, coupled with the recognition that colorectal cancer occurs in one in 18 Americans in a lifetime, a broad consensus of leading physician groups representing gastroenterologists, cancer medicine specialists, and public health specialists agree that, with rare exceptions due to the presence of other illnesses, everyone should have a screening colonoscopy at age 50, and, if no adenomatous polyps are removed, surveillance colonoscopies should be continued at ten year intervals thereafter, until the age of 80.

If polyps of the type called tubular adenomas are found and removed from an individual, that person should have colonoscopies repeated at intervals of three-to-five years, depending upon the number, size, and other specific features of the polyps that were removed.

Catch a Killer: Get Screened for Colon Cancer
"Catch a Killer:
Get Screened for Colon Cancer"

Because among African-Americans, the risk of colorectal cancer becomes significant at an age of only 45, this group should get their first screening colonoscopy done at age 45 instead of 50. If an individual has had a parent, sibling or child who has been diagnosed with colorectal cancer, screening colonoscopies should begin at age forty, and, in certain cases, they may need to begin in one’s twenties or thirties. Because of the special concerns of those with a family history of colorectal cancer, a brief “precolonoscopy consultation” with Dr. Cherner, rather than the Colonoscopy Express, would be appropriate for members of such families.

Scheduling a Screening Colonoscopy

For scheduling a Screening Colonoscopy, Dr. Cherner offers two options: a traditional Screening Colonscopy and the Colonoscopy Express.

The first option is the conventional path, whereby you have a brief “pre-colonoscopy consultation” intended specifically to enable you to share with Dr. Cherner personally, any conditions, questions or concerns that you may have that are pertinent to planning your colonoscopy. After performing an abbreviated exam, Dr. Cherner will discuss with you your options for the bowel preparation, determining whether the pills (OsmoPrep) to cleanse the bowel may be appropriate for you, or whether a liquid prep is better suited for your needs. The deep sedation we provide and what you can expect afterward will be discussed as well. At the conclusion of that brief visit, we will schedule your colonoscopy.  To arrange for a traditional colonoscopy, which includes a "pre-colonoscopy consultation" with Dr. Cherner, call the office and download and complete the medical history questionnaire for a screening colonoscopy.

The second option for healthy individuals who need a screening colonoscopy is to bypass the precolonoscopy consultation and jump on the Colonoscopy Express