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Don’t Let the Fear of Colonoscopy Keep You from Preventing Colon Cancer

Don’t Let the Fear of Colonoscopy Keep You from Preventing Colon Cancer

No one relishes the thought of getting a colonoscopy. It is not what any of us would consider a fun way to spend a day. However, all adults who are at average risk for colon cancer should have a first colonoscopy at the age of 50. Although a colonoscopy may not be at the top of your list for things to do in 2014, a colonoscopy can save your life!

Unfortunately, many adults may put off a colonoscopy because of the fear of the unknown. There are many myths associated with colonoscopies that are untrue, and these myths are responsible for many cancelled or unscheduled procedures. Here are some common misconceptions and fears about colonoscopies:

Myth 1: I will be awake during my colonoscopy

Truth: You will most likely be sedated during the exam and probably will not remember anything. The entire exam takes about 15 to 30 minutes, and you can go home the same day.

Myth 2: Colonoscopy preparation is difficult and painful

Preparation for a colonoscopy involves following a detailed schedule of fasting combined with prescription and over-the-counter laxatives to cleanse the colon. You have several options for colon flushes, and you can discuss each method with your doctor. The preparation is very specific and time-consuming, but it is not painful.

Myth 3: I have to go to a hospital to have my colonoscopy

Truth: You can schedule your colonoscopy at an outpatient surgery center. is affiliated with many outpatient centers with highly trained specialists who provide the same procedure in a smaller, more relaxed setting. In fact, the cost is usually lower at an outpatient facility.

Myth 3: All screening methods are equally effective

Truth: Although there are several screening methods to detect and help diagnose colon cancer, the colonoscopy is known as the gold standard for colon screening. A colonoscopy allows a gastroenterologist to examine the entire length of your colon, while the other methods do not. If your doctor finds a suspicious polyp during the exam, he or she can remove it and test it for cancer.

If you have been putting off your colonoscopy, use our Center Locator to find a treatment center near your home. One phone call can make all the difference in your colon health.

posted on February 12, 2014 in news