For men and women, turning 50 usually brings a mixed bag of emotions. While you look out toward the latter part of your life, you want to make sure you can enjoy every minute of it. And that’s where important cancer screenings like a colonoscopy come in.
At GastroDox, our team of gastrointestinal specialists is here to help you check this important item off your preventive healthcare list, as they’ve done for many of our patients in Cypress, Texas, and the greater Houston area.
And, believe it or not, a colonoscopy may not be as bad as you think. To prove that point, we offer these seven reasons.
1. It is better than becoming a statistic
The American Cancer Society predicts that 2018 will see over 97,000 new cases of colon cancer and 43,000 cases of rectal cancer, making colorectal cancer the third most diagnosed cancer in men and women in the United States, outside of skin cancer.
Unfortunately, colorectal cancer is also the third leading cause of cancer deaths, with over 50,000 deaths predicted for 2018. The good news is that this number has been slowly declining over the past several decades thanks to awareness efforts and regular screening.
With a colonoscopy, we’re able to catch and treat the disease before it has a chance to take hold, helping you avoid becoming a statistic.
2. The bad rep is just hype
One of the biggest hurdles to the colonoscopy is its poor reputation. We understand that no one likes the idea of a doctor sending a probe through your anus, but the idea is often far worse than the practice.
3. Sedation relaxes you
For your comfort, you’re sedated during the procedure, which means you are completely relaxed and you don’t feel much of anything. You may sense some pressure from the air we send in to get a closer look at the walls of your colon, but you don’t feel any pain.
In fact, you are lying down, and because of the location of the procedure, you can’t watch every move. You can even bring some headphones with you to listen to your favorite music or an audiobook during your procedure.
4. Evaluation and diagnosis in one
A colonoscopy is a visual examination of your rectum and colon, but if we see any polyps that look problematic, we can remove them on the spot. Polyps aren’t necessarily cancerous, but they can turn into cancer. By removing them, we can help prevent cancer from taking hold in the first place. To be on the safe side, we also biopsy your polyps afterward.
5. Consider it a break from work and a cleanse
Before your colonoscopy, we’re going to have you take laxatives and restrict your diet for a few days because your colon must be completely empty when we go in.
Most of our patients take the day off from work the day before, as well as the day of, the procedure in order to cleanse properly. You can use this time to catch up on some rest or your favorite TV show while also enjoying the benefits of this mini-cleanse, which flushes your system out nicely.
6. See you later
If everything goes smoothly and we don’t find anything that warrants further investigation, we’re not going to ask you to undergo another colonoscopy for 10 years. That’s a considerable amount of peace of mind.
Of course, if we do find something we want to investigate, we may have to repeat the procedure sooner, but with one under your belt, the second one will be much easier since you know what to expect.
7. A colonoscopy is a lifesaver
We know we started with this point, but it bears repeating. By giving up a day or two out of your life, you can take proactive steps to avoid a cancer diagnosis. Cancer rarely affords this opportunity, often being detected when it’s already fairly advanced, so this is a chance worth seizing.
Don’t delay setting up your colonoscopy — it’s really not as bad as you think. Give us a call or use the online scheduling tool on this website to book an appointment.