Colonoscopy and Colorectal Cancer Screening
Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer among men and women in the US and it occurs most often in individuals over the age of 50. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends that individuals be screened for colon cancer starting at age 50. Recently, due to an increase in colon and rectal cancers among adults under age 50, the American Cancer Society is encouraging earlier screening at age 45. The good news is that regular screening through colonoscopy can prevent colorectal cancer. A polyp could take 10-15 years to develop into cancer. With a colonoscopy, your doctor can find and remove polyps before they reach the cancerous stage.
Find a Doctor
If you do not have health insurance and need a colon cancer screening, the Howard County Health Department’s Cancer Program can help. Patient Navigation Services are available for insured individuals with language, financial, or transportation difficulties and want assistance navigating the health care. Call 410-313-4255.
Traditional colonoscopies can be performed at Johns Hopkins Endocscopy and Surgery Center in Columbia or view other local gastroenterologists.
Virtual colonoscopies can be performed at Johns Hopkins Medical Imaging in Columbia.
Is a virtual colonoscopy right for you? Learn more.
Virtual Colonoscopy Q&A | Dr. Karen Horton
Virtual colonoscopy is a minimally invasive alternative to conventional colonoscopy (endoscopy) that screens the colon and rectum for polyps and early cancer before symptoms occur. Karen Horton, M.D., professor and Chair of Radiology, discusses what is involved in the procedure, how to prepare and the benefits of virtual colonoscopy over conventional colonoscopy.