colonoscope2Today I begin my preparations for tomorrow’s colonoscopy. It’s not a fun prep, but it’s absolutely necessary for the surgeon to get a good look at my inner plumbing. Nothing to eat today, other than clear liquids. The worst part is the solution I start to drink at noon that will keep me very close to the toilet for the rest of the day. It’s all part of the cleansing process for this important screening procedure that seeks to find any evidence of colon cancer or its humble beginnings in the form of polyps growing in your colon.

The Odds Are Awesome and In Your Favor
Statistics totally support this early detection method as the best way to identify colon cancer before it becomes fully developed and spreads throughout one’s body. In fact, according to About.com, “when diagnosed early, 90% of colorectal cancers are completely curable.” The really cool thing is that if they find no polyps during the procedure, you don’t need to do it again for another 10 years. That’s right, you’ll have peace of mind for the next 10 years that this form of cancer is not within you.

We Humans are Excellent Rationalizers
I’m sure there are many people who know they should get a colonscopy, but they rationalize reasons for not doing it. Why would smart people not embrace this medical procedure that’s widely available, relatively painless (they put you to sleep for the procedure) and every bit as important for both men and women as a mammogram is for the early detection of breast cancer?

I believe people avoid the procedure because they’re afraid of learning they have cancer or they just hate medical procedures. As a result, they prefer to believe that because they have no pain or other symptoms, they must be fine. Whatever the motivation, many people rationalize their avoidance behavior and put their proverbial head in the sand when it comes to a relatively simple screening procedure. In fact, some good friends told us last night at dinner that they’d been avoiding the procedure for years, and these are smart people. In spite of our urging them to do it, they basically said they would not.

Staying in Shape is Hard, This is Easy
Many of us, myself included, know that we should be getting more daily exercise, eating better and doing the other things that contribute to a healthier lifestyle. However, we often struggle with our fitness because it requires discipline and commitment. It’s hard to do!

Like diet and exercise, a colonoscopy is also something that many of us know we should do. The difference is that it’s EASY to do! Unlike keeping a healthy diet and regular exercise program, this is simple. Even if you struggle with your weight and exercise habits like I do, you can easily eliminate one major health risk through this simple procedure. Most of us will get peace of mind that you don’t have colon cancer, whereas others will catch it early enough to treat it.

Git ‘er Done!
If you’re 50 or over and haven’t had one, do yourself a big favor and schedule a colonoscopy. It’s one of the easiest things you can do to stay healthy and prevent the onset of one of the most dreaded diseases of our time. A half day on the toilet and another half day in the hospital is really a very small price to pay for the knowledge that you’re in good health. And if something is discovered, your odds of beating it are excellent. So pull your head out of the sand and get to it!

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4 thoughts on “The Dreaded Colonoscopy

  • January 22, 2009 at 10:33 am
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    I’m back home after just over 2 hours at the hospital. That’s a big benefit of having the procedure done in a small country hospital. The hospital’s new resident surgeon, Dr. Craig Swafford, performed the procedure and found a single polyp, which he removed and sent for testing. Chances are excellent that the results will be negative.

    It was painless as I slept through the procedure. No pain at all now and very little gas. If you’re over 50 you need to do this. It’s so simple and effective.

  • January 22, 2009 at 11:28 am
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    Been there and done that at VA hospital in New York City! No polyps found although I was bleeding from inner piles. No cancer but must eat more fruit & fiber. Life goes on for this 72 year old man 🙂

  • January 23, 2009 at 3:54 pm
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    Just got a call from the surgeon’s office. Apparently the polyp he removed was pre-cancerous. So I’ll need to do this again in 3-5 years. If I had let this go, it would have become a cancer. Thank God for this screening procedure. All the more reason you Boomers need to be getting this done.

  • October 18, 2009 at 2:47 pm
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    Don’t know how old these posts are, but I’m a believer. Had my first scope five years ago and they took out three polyps. Later testing showed they were pre-cancerous. Had I not had it done, I’d be fighting cancer today. Instead, I’m going in for another CScope tomorrow. My entire family died of this stuff. Now, I can lick it and die of something else.

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