Colorectal cancer is extremely preventable if polyps that lead to the cancer are detected and removed in its early stages. Since there are very few symptoms associated, regular screening is essential.
Who Should Be Screened?
Screening for colorectal cancer is generally recommended starting at age 50. However, screening guidelines can vary based on your personal and family history, your race, and other factors. Learn more about risk factors.
A colonoscopy is the best way to look for colon growths, but it is not right for everyone. Your provider can help determine the best options and frequency for your individualized situation.
Schedule a Colonoscopy
To schedule a colorectal screening, contact a provider near you:
- College Station: 979-691-3616
- Killeen: 254-618-1400
- Round Rock: 512-509-8200
- Taylor: 512-352-7611
- Temple: 254-724-2265
- Waco: 254-761-4444
About the Procedure
A colonoscopy means using a thin, flexible tube (flexible sigmoidoscopy) with a camera and light at the end to look inside the colon.
Risks may include possible reaction to medications, holes or tears, bleeding and possibly missing something. Each of these risks is small.
What to Expect Before the Colonscopy
Before the procedure can be done, your colon must be cleaned out. This is done by having a clear liquid diet the day before and drinking a special laxative the evening and sometimes the morning of the procedure.
Your provider may provide you with one of the following preparation instructions:
What to Expect During the Colonscopy
During the procedure, air is inserted and the scope is moved around corners; therefore, bloating and mild discomfort may be felt at moments. You will have a sedative and pain medication given through an IV. This makes the procedure as comfortable as possible.
Your provider will be looking for polyps (which are sometimes pre-cancerous) which will be removed or sometimes biopsied. Colon cancers can be biopsied and diagnosed during the procedure.
What to Expect After the Colonscopy
You MUST have a driver accompany you for your appointment as you cannot drive yourself home after receiving sedative medication.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why does my driver need to stay in the lobby during my entire colonoscopy? Why does my driver need to stay in the lobby during my entire colonoscopy?
Your driver must stay in the lobby for your safety. You will be sedated and not able to make decisions for yourself. You cannot drive yourself home after the procedure; therefore, we want your driver available as soon as you are ready, so you can go safely home.
I am having my period. Can I still have my colonoscopy? I am having my period. Can I still have my colonoscopy?
This will not interfere with your procedure, nor will wearing a pad or using a tampon.
When will I get the results from my colonoscopy? When will I get the results from my colonoscopy?
After the procedure, you and your driver(s) will receive some early results of the procedure. Often, the physician who did your procedure will be the one to discuss the results. Many times biopsies or samples are sent to the pathology lab for microscope studies. These results are usually back to the physician in a week. The physician will call or mail you a letter with the results the following week. Therefore, if you do not hear back from the doctor within two weeks of your procedure, you should call your physicians office.
Do I have to drink all of my colon prep? Do I have to drink all of my colon prep?
Yes, we want your colon as clean as possible so that your physician can see all of the colon. This allows your physician to find (and possibly treat) the smallest and flattest polyps.
I am a diabetic. What precautions should I take during the preparation period? I am a diabetic. What precautions should I take during the preparation period?
If you are a diabetic, we will give you special instructions when your procedure is scheduled. You will need to let us know about ALL of your diabetic medications. You should check your blood sugar frequently during the day before and the day of the procedure. Since you will be on clear liquids, your blood sugar will tend to drop faster than normal. To avoid this be sure to include some liquids with regular sugar in your diet. It may also be helpful to have some glucose tablets on hand in case your blood sugar drops and it is past your cut off time for fluids.