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Colonoscopy or Not, You Choose
Colon cancer is among the most commonly diagnosed cancers.  Approximately 50,000 Americans die from this disease every year.  Usually colon cancer begins as abnormal growths or polyps.  These “polyps” are detected during a colonoscopy.  Early detection and removal of those “polyps” during your colonoscopy will significantly reduce your risk of developing colon cancer.
In most cases, your insurance will cover most of the cost of this test.  However several million adults, just here in the United States, have never had a colonoscopy even though their doctors have strongly advised them to have it. and even though they have insurance benefits to cover it.   If you are 50 or older, it is time to schedule your colonoscopy.  You’ll want to find and remove those polyps before they turn cancerous.   Generally, you should have a colonoscopy every 5 years thereafter unless polyps were discovered and removed during your most recent test.  If that is the case, your doctor may recommend your next test be in 3 years.
Most patients start a liquid diet the day before the test.  You will be prescribed a cleansing preparation to be used the evening before the procedure.  Before my last colonoscopy, they had me ingest the preparation in the early evening on the day before the procedure.  I then had to arise early the next morning before the surgery to take the second half of the cleansing preparation.  In the past the stuff was pretty “yucky”, however this last time, the cleansing preparation wasn’t half bad (when compared to before).  I had absolutely no discomfort during or after the procedure.
If you are ready to schedule your first colonoscopy, ask your Primary care doctor or your friends in this age group the name of the best physician to perform the colonoscopy.  As part of the procedure, air or carbon dioxide is pumped in to expand the colon.  Carbon dioxide exit’s the body quickly, but air takes longer to exit.  Ask your doc to suction out the air at the end of the procedure (if they use air) to minimize gassinesss and bloating .