Colon Cancer is Preventable with a Colonoscopy
A Colonoscopy Could Save Your Life
I was recently told a story of a mother and daughter who both passed away from Colon Cancer, one week apart.
Yes, one week apart. The news left me devastated and frustrated.
Colon Cancer is one of the most curable, preventable cancers, yet it continues to kill.
If everyone would just get a simple procedure known as a colonoscopy we could win this war. Yes, I said simple because it is!
You might have heard all types of stories, but it just takes a little bit of common sense to realize that YOU could save your own life.
I hope I could convince you to make that one phone call that could help save a life.
Whether it be your life or that of a loved one. We could all use a bit of a nudge or some coaxing in order to make the first move.
So, go ahead and do it. Make that phone call.
The most influential person you talk to on a daily basis is you...listen to YOU.
Family History of Colon Cancer
I have a family history of Colon Cancer. My maternal grandmother and my mother both lost their lives to this dreaded disease. My brother is battling polyps and has repeated colonoscopies. Colon Cancer is highly genetic. If you have a family member who had it chances are you are at high risk.
The test is not something we look forward to, but it's called preventive medicine for a reason. In addition I'd rather have the procedure than the alternative. I must admit I do enjoy the anesthesia, that stuff is miracle in itself.
Each year medical science amazes us with how much easier this procedure gets. It's literally a piece of cake and when your screening is over, you get to eat cake to celebrate the courageous you!
I've heard stories about back in the day when patients were awake during the procedure and it was very uncomfortable, it's not like that anymore. I've been told stories about the prep work being horrible and the liquid having a gross taste.
Times have changed, depending on your physician we are now able to just swallow a pill and drink lots of water. I've heard complaints about spending too much time in the bathroom and not being able to eat solid foods the day before. So what!
If you think about it your bowels are receiving a much needed cleansing! In addition no one has ever died from not eating solids for one day BUT they have died from Colon Cancer. It happens more frequently than necessary!
Colon Cancer is Preventable
As an advocate for Colon Cancer I've heard many excuses about WHY people haven't had their test yet. Some of the responses can't be repeated due to inappropriate terminology but I will keep my answers as clean as possible:
1- The gastroenterologist has seen PLENTY of backsides and yours is no different.
2- It's better to have a scope inserted in your colon than have to wear a colostomy bag. Trust me on this one, I have witnesses to testify for this!
3- If there is a polyp found it will be removed and biopsied, you won't feel a thing!
4- There is no easier way to effectively be checked for Colon Cancer. I don't see one in the near future SO stop making excuses and get 'er done!
There is a virtual colonoscopy in which you still need to prep and you aren't sedated. The downside to this test is if a suspicious area is noticed it can't be removed and you'll need a colonoscopy regardless and have to do the prep all over again. In addition your colon is still inflated with air and you will need to lay still while going through the CT scanner. This doesn't sound very enticing to me! I'd rather be taking a little nap and woken up when it's all done.
There are signs and symptoms of Colon Cancer but unless you are aware of them they serve no purpose. Rectal bleeding is one, but that symptom can be from many other issues not as serious. Bloating and excessive gas is another but than again those symptoms are common with other ailments. Extreme weight loss is another sign but here again that could be from many things. I was told that irregular shaped stool (flat on one side) is another sign due to a tumor or polyp blocking the passageway. Your doctor is the best person to judge any issues you have. Never be too embarrassed to ask questions. There are no silly questions. Wouldn't you rather be discussing your follow up appointment in 10 years then when chemo treatments will begin?
Everyone male and female should have their first colonoscopy procedure performed at age 50. If all is well then you won't need another test for 10 years.
If there is a family history of Colon Cancer then you should begin sooner. For example my mother's colon cancer began at age 55. So according to the recommended guidelines, I should have had my baseline colonoscopy 10 years before her cancer began. Which is age 45 for me. Which is exactly when I had my baseline. So if your family member was diagnosed over age 60, your doctor might suggest you start your baseline at a different age.
This is just the basic guidelines. Don't procrastinate any longer, if you fall into one of these groups please get tested. If this message helps save one life I've done my part but I hope this article helps in at least planting a seed in many of your heads. Keep in mind the old adage ... It's better to be safe than sorry!
Possible Signs of Colon Cancer
Change in bowel movements.
- Rectal bleeding.
- Unexplained weight loss.
- Abdominal discomfort.
- Feeling of incomplete evacuation of the bowel.
UPDATE: Perfect Results
I had my second colonoscopy performed on Sept. 9th, 2011.
Prep: Good Procedure: Painless and enjoyed my 15 minutes snooze Results: Perfect colon!
My prep for this procedure was different then the prep I used three years ago.
On Sept 7th after dinner I drank a 10oz bottle of Magnesium Citrate Oral Solution which is sold at any drug or grocery store. Mine was lemon flavored so it tasted like a salty lemon. Yuck. Once I poured it over ice it was easier to drink. It went to work almost immediately.
On Sept 8th I was allowed a small breakfast and then a liquid only diet until after the procedure. The prep today was OSMOPREP pills. 32 of them. At 1:00 I consumed 4 pills with a glass of water every 15 minutes until 2:00. Went to work immediately. Continue with liquids ALL DAY. At 6:00 I consumed the remaining 12 pills.
On Sept 9th at 8:00am I was coming out of twilight and received the news that I was good to go for another 3-5 years. I was ELATED and HUNGRY!
When possible try to get the first appointment of the day for your test. The later your appointment is the longer you have to wait for the patients before you. My gastroenterologist is fantastic! He's always early and doesn't spend time on the phone or Internet between patients like some do. My appt. was at 7:30am, I arrived at 6:30am and was out of the surgery center at 8:15am. If you are in the Orlando area I highly recommend my doctor so feel free to contact me.
Disclaimer: This was MY prep for my procedure. Always follow your doctors instructions! The test is truly a breeze. It's worth the inconvenience. Good luck with your test!!!
Prep for Third Colonoscopy
Miralax/Dulcolax/Gatorade Colonoscopy Prep
On October 15, 2014 I had my third colonoscopy. This time around it was a bit of a challenge for me. I decided to try another doctor who was closer to home and performed the procedure at our local hospital. One of the challenges was, I was not allowed to eat any solids the day before. I was used to having a light breakfast. The second challenge was she doesn't begin procedures until 9:30am and I was fourth in line. One last challenge is I can not drink, even water, after midnight. Going 36 hours without solid food and 12 hours without water is indeed quite a challenge. I know realize I was a bit pampered with my last doctor, but due to family obligations I had to do what I had to do.
The prep was a breeze! I always thought I disliked Gatorade so I was dreading drinking it, but I liked it. Maybe it was the Miralax being added to it or my tastes changed, I'm not sure, but the drink was pleasant. The Dulcolax pills are tiny and helped move things along. I was cleaned out in a matter of hours. I started my prep at 10:30am, since I couldn't eat, why wait until the specified 3:00pm. I had some tea, diet coke, chicken broth, lemon italian ices, water and I attempted Jello, just not a fan. I had another perfect prep. My doc was pleased.
The procedure went smoothly. Two polyps were found, snipped and sent off for a biopsy. Kind of scary that in just 3 years, two polyps could appear and the recommended guideline for a colonoscopy is not every 10 years. Not for this girl. I'm sticking to my every 3 years schedule. Also, for the record, I'm a fan of Propofol...I enjoy my nap. If only the hospital would allow me to stay longer and finish my nap instead of rushing me out of the building :)
Dr. Teresa deBeche Adams
Are you age 40 or over with a Family history? Are you age 50 or more?
Have you had your colonoscopy yet?
The Colonoscopy Song
© 2011 Linda Bilyeu