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I had my colon cancer screening today! Now it is your turn.

Updated on December 7, 2010
Diagram of A Colonoscopy
Diagram of A Colonoscopy

I’m going in for a colonoscopy today. I don’t have any symptoms or problems that I am aware of.

My mother had colorectal cancer so I have to be careful, since it has already occurred in my family.

Colon and Rectal Cancer

Beginning at age 50, both men and women at average risk for developing colorectal cancer should use one of the screening tests below. The tests that are designed to find both early cancer and polyps are preferred if these tests are available to you and you are willing to have one of these more invasive tests. Talk to your doctor about which test is best for you.

Tests that find polyps and cancer

  • Flexible sigmoidoscopy every 5 years*
  • Colonoscopy every 10 years
  • Double contrast barium enema every 5 years*
  • CT colonography (virtual colonoscopy) every 5 years*

Tests that mainly find cancer

  • Fecal occult blood test (FOBT) every year*, **
  • Fecal immunochemical test (FIT) every year*, **
  • Stool DNA test (sDNA), interval uncertain*

*Colonoscopy should be done if test results are positive.

**For FOBT or FIT used as a screening test, the take-home multiple sample method should be used. A FOBT or FIT done during a digital rectal exam in the doctor's office is not adequate for screening.

People should talk to their doctor about starting colorectal cancer screening earlier and/or being screened more often if they have any of the following colorectal cancer risk factors:

  • A personal history of colorectal cancer or adenomatous polyps
  • A personal history of chronic inflammatory bowel disease (Crohns disease or ulcerative colitis)
  • A strong family history of colorectal cancer or polyps (cancer or polyps in a first-degree relative [parent, sibling, or child] younger than 60 or in 2 or more first-degree relatives of any age)
  • A known family history of hereditary colorectal cancer syndromes such as familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) or hereditary non-polyposis colon cancer (HNPCC)

I hope this article, and my willingness to be screened, will help you to make the possibly life saving decision to get yourself screened soon.

I have the results of my colonoscopy. I had one non-cancerous polyp removed.

That polyp could have caused cancer down the road if it had been left there.

My story has a happy ending.

Now it’s your turn.

Bob Diamond R.Ph

http://www.bobthepharmacist.com/

* The American Cancer Society was the source for most of the information in this article.

http://www.cancer.org/

Cancer Screening Information Available at Amazon.com

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    • DiamondRN profile imageAUTHOR

      Bob Diamond RPh 

      10 years ago from Charlotte, NC USA

      Adam, thanks for your comment. ROFL :0)

      If the doctor and nurses do their jobs right you won't feel a thing.

      Most people don't mind the pain as much as the embarrassment of everyone in the room knowing their deepest darkest secrets. The local anesthetic at least spares you that trauma.

      As for the gas, my wife was in the cafeteria getting something to eat when I first got into recovery, so she can't tease me about it. If it happened to me like it did to you, at least there are no witnesses to bring it up at inopportune moments.

      Bob Diamond

    • profile image

      Adam B 

      10 years ago

      I had my first Colonoscopy a few month ago and I have a question for you. I go in and they tell me what is going to happen, which I already pretty much knew, then I asked this famous question; Is it going to hurt? The Doctor said no, there may be a little "pressure" or very mild discomfort but I would be on an IV anyway and woudn't remember anything anyway. Well if it is no bog deal, why the hell do I have to be drugged and have no memory of it? Somthing fishy is going on here! One funny thing was afterwards I was in the recovery room or wherever they put me and I was just blowing gas like a champ. I don't remember all this, but my wife told me about it and how loud it was and I couldn't stop laughing. Oh, how I wish I could have someone videotape that. Apparently I startled a nurse with a very loud gasser! Hahahaha!

    • DiamondRN profile imageAUTHOR

      Bob Diamond RPh 

      10 years ago from Charlotte, NC USA

      Funny that you should mention having a polyp removed. So did I, and "Thank God" it too was not yet malignant.

      Bob Diamond

    • profile image

      Artszpotter 

      10 years ago

      Good information...Early detection is THE KEY! No one needs to be afraid of a colonoscopy.

      If you have a polyp they remove it while you are being scoped and good news, you don't even know anything, or remember it. I've had two and one was pre-cancer.

      So, Go Bob!

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