In celebration of turning 50 and in celebration of Colon Cancer Awareness Month, I encourage all of you 50+ readers to get your colonoscopies! March is colon cancer awareness month and March 6th is wear blue day in order to create awareness.
Not many people want a colonoscopy. I cancelled mine 4 times! I'm not proud of that. I had the same fears that many others have. The prep is pretty awful tasting. Someone puts a camera in my bottom... What if they perforate my colon? I have to take off of work, etc, etc...
However, it wasn't bad at all. I took the Su Prep which I highly recommend. I drank the medicine like a shot, then chugged down the instructed amount of water to avoid drinking a gallon of awful tasting stuff. No, I didn't exactly follow the directions, and that method is not actually recommended. So, follow the directions, please!
Dr, Roarty and Victoria Burger did a great job. I woke up asking the recovery room nurse to schedule some cases for me! Yes, I always dream about work. The rest of the day was a little groggy, but otherwise ok.
Colonoscopies are our best screening test to prevent colon cancer. They can be both diagnostic and therapeutic. Small polyps can be removed to prevent them from turning into cancer. Age 50 is the magic number to start colon cancer screening, but some societies recommend starting at age 45. That age is earlier if you have a family history of colon cancer or even colon polyps. Make sure to know your family history and share with your doctor, so they can guide you on when to begin.
There are some risks to a colonoscopy, but those risks are tiny. They include bleeding if a polyp is removed or perforation of the colon. Perforation is extremely rare.
The biggest risk for colon cancer is family history which you cannot change. However, there are some changes in your lifestyle that can lower your risk. These include a diet filled with vegetables, fruit and whole grains. Lower your intake of red meat and processed meat. Make sure to exercise regularly. Watch your weight. Do not smoke! Limit alcohol intake.