How many of you Baby Boomers out there have had your required colonoscopy at (or after) age 50? For those of you shaking your heads or shrugging your shoulders, this article is for you. Lately the media has been bombarding us with messages that “cleanses” are “so good” for our health. Well, as far as I’m concerned, the colonoscopy is the ultimate cleanse!
So if cleanses are touted as being so great for us and, I’m sure, many of you have tried at least one, why do you put off your colonoscopy? Could it be out of fear? If you’ve never had one, the procedure is unfamiliar so it’s only natural to be a bit anxious. Does your family have a history of colon cancer? If so, this test can reveal any potential health risks at an early phase and easily take care of it. Or, could you simply just be in denial about your age? Okay, for many that’s only natural but is that type of denial worth risking your life? Personally, I think not.
“A colonoscopy is the endoscopic examination of the large bowel and the distal part of the small bowel with a fiber optic camera on a flexible tube passed through the anus. It may provide a visual diagnosis (e.g. ulceration, polyps) and allows the opportunity for biopsy or removal of suspected lesions to determine if they are precancerous or not. The American Cancer Society “Guidelines for the Early Detection of Cancer” recommend, beginning at age 50, both men and women receive this screening test to find colon polyps and/or cancer.” (Source: Wikipedia)
According to the American Cancer Society, colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer diagnosed in both men and women in the United States. To learn more about the risk factors and other statistics, please visit http://www.cancer.org/Cancer/ColonandRectumCancer/DetailedGuide/colorectal-cancer-key-statistics.
In the meantime, I urge you to get your colonoscopy if you are 50 or over. I’m scheduled for my first one on Thursday. Although a bit apprehensive about the prep as well as the procedure, I know it’s worth the temporary discomfort because it could save my life. My grandmother was diagnosed with colon cancer in her early 80s so it is in my genes. Thankfully hers was detected via a routine colonoscopy and with surgery she survived to the age of 96 happily and healthfully.