A colonoscopy is a very common screening and thousands are performed every day. But for some reason, people still find the life-saving screening intimidating, and in many cases, they may put it off. Maybe it’s because they’re afraid of it — or they’ve heard stories from others that aren’t so appealing. Or maybe people just underestimate its importance.
So why is it so important and why should those of us of a certain age have a colonoscopy done? Here are just a few reasons:
It can save your life. Colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in this country and 5 to 6% of all Americans will develop it in their lifetime. If left unchecked, this terrible disease can absolutely be a killer.
It is the best option. There are other ways to check for colon cancer, but none is as effective as a colonoscopy.
It can find more than cancer. Colonoscopies can detect diverticulitis, Crohn's, and ulcerative colitis. Early detection can reduce the damage done by these diseases and greatly improve your quality of life.
It is quick and relatively painless. The actual procedure only takes about 15 minutes, and your time at the clinic will only take the better part of a morning. Plus, aside from the IV site, and lingering discomfort is rare.
Prep isn't really so bad! You've heard the horror stories and people love to talk about it, but in reality, colonoscopy prep has improved dramatically in the last decade. The process is now is much less uncomfortable than it used to be.
The reality is, there are lots of good reasons to get a colonoscopy when the time comes, and no good reason, unless identified by your doctor, to put it off. It is a tool that is effective to detect, treat, beat— and even prevent colon cancer. And the simple thing to remember is that it can literally save your life. Now what could be bad about that?
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