Many people are choosing to put off health screenings like colonoscopies during COVID-19. Central Texas Endoscopy Center’s Dr. Joshua Sultz discusses the importance of not putting off health screenings and the additional measures they are taking at the center to provide a safe environment for patients during their procedure.
Of course, women should be aware of breast cancer and its symptoms. But women should also be aware of colon cancer too, because it’s on the rise—particularly among younger women.
If you think that colon cancer only affects older people, that’s understandable—it is a disease that significantly affects people over 50.
However, a recent study found that colorectal cancer rates are up 62 percent among white females under the age of 49 and 50 percent up in the under-55 age group. So, this year, when you wear your pink, put on a little blue too. Colorectal cancer is the third leading cause of cancer death, but with awareness and action, it is preventable.
Statistically, women visit their doctor more frequently than men, but that doesn’t mean talking about personal bowel habits is at the top of the topic list.
But women need to know about the risk and the symptoms, so they know when to go to the doctor and have that conversation.
- All women are at average risk of colon cancer at the age of 50.
- Women with relatives who have been diagnosed with advanced polyps or colon cancer are at greater risk.
- Women with Lynch syndrome, a cancer that is the result of an inherited genetic mutation, are at even greater risk of colorectal cancer before the age of 50.
- A change in bowel habits (increased constipation, diarrhea, or ‘ribbon-like’ narrow stools)
- Feeling like you need to have a bowel movement, but being unable to do so when you try
- Rectal bleeding
- Dark stools or blood in your stool
- Cramping or abdominal (tummy) pain
- Weakness and fatigue
- Unintentional weight loss
The most common colorectal cancer symptom for older Americans? No symptom at all. That’s why screening is so important.
Aged 45 or older? It’s time to get screened.
Breast cancer awareness campaigns have been successful in increasing the number of women who get routine mammograms, but it’s just as important that they get colorectal cancer screenings scheduled and completed by the age of 50—especially because the American Cancer Society recently lowered the recommended age for a first-time colon cancer screening to 45 years old.
Under 45 and experiencing symptoms? It’s time to get screened.
If you have symptoms that concern you, don’t delay. Talk to your doctor and ensure they know colorectal cancer is no longer the disease of the elderly. Don’t ‘die of embarrassment. Get screened.
If you are experiencing symptoms or need to schedule your screening colonoscopy, contact the expert gastroenterology team at the Central Texas Endoscopy Center at (877) 758-3476 or fill out an appointment request form and a team member will contact you soon. At the Central Texas Endoscopy Center, every GI physician is fellowship-trained in gastroenterology, the medical staff is highly specialized in endoscopic procedures, and you will receive the highest quality of care in a comfortable, private setting for a fraction of what hospitals charge for the same outpatient procedure. Get scheduled to get screened today—save your life!
How to Make the Most of Your Health Care Now
Are you insured? If yes:
Find out if you have met your deductible (and ask about your coinsurance and out-of-pocket maximums too) by contacting your insurance provider.
If you have met your deductible or you’re close, you can save big by scheduling your vital health care appointments and preventive screenings now.
Deductible or coinsurance not met? Or, are you uninsured?
Don’t panic. You can still get high quality, low cost care at an independent ambulatory surgery center (ASC). ASCs, like Central Texas Endoscopy provide expert GI health care at a much lower cost than you might pay at a hospital or hospital-affiliated center.
Are you worried you can’t afford the health care you need?
There is no need to worry. Payment plans are available to ensure your get the health care you need, even when your budget is limited. The friendly staff at the center billing office can review your options.
Plan Ahead to Make the Most of your Health Care Every Year
To make sure you don’t waste precious dollars next year, you need to make the right decisions now.
When open enrollment begins at your workplace, it is time to do your research. Choosing the wrong plan could result in large and unexpected costs in the future.
Before you choose, ask yourself:
How much did I spend on health care last year?
When calculating your health care costs, be sure to include copays, coinsurance, prescriptions, and other out-of-pocket expenses, as well as your premiums. When you are comparing plans for the new year, check to see if your deductibles, coinsurance, and/or copays will increase.
How much am I likely to spend on health care next year?
Are there any health problems, procedures, prescriptions, or screenings that mean you will require extra care over the next year? Are you having a baby? Do you take regular prescription medications? Before choosing a new health care plan (or opting to remain in your existing one), make sure you know exactly what coverage it will provide for these health events, and whether a higher copay or coinsurance will be required.
Will I still be able to see my preferred health care providers?
If you have preferred health care providers, it is important to make certain those doctors and/or facilities are in-network for any plan you are considering. Using out-of-network providers could prove costly, so you need to weigh the value of paying a higher premium to see your preferred providers or choosing new doctors that fall under a new plan with lower premiums.
Will an FSA or HSA be available with my plan?
Flexible spending accounts (FSA) are available with most insurance plans and can provide useful tax savings.
Health savings accounts (HSAs), which provide even more savings and benefits, are available if you choose a high deductible health plan. If your employer doesn’t offer one, you can enroll at certain financial institutions.
Why ASCs are a Great Choice for Your Health Care
Independent ambulatory surgery centers like Central Texas Endoscopy offer:
- High quality care that fits your budget
- Fellowship-trained gastroenterologists who meet or exceed practice standards for quality
- Industry-leading certifications for safety
- Fees that are a fraction of those charged at a hospital or hospital-affiliated center
- Cash payment options and payment plans to suit you
- Accessible parking and convenient curbside drop-off and pick-up
Whether you are considering new health care options for the new year or need care right now to maximize your deductible, the team at Central Texas Endoscopy can answer all your questions and discuss affordable options for managing your GI health care. Contact the center today to learn more or schedule an appointment.