Only one out of three adults who should be screened for colon cancer are. Why is this true and why should you disregard the reasons and get screened anyway?
Why don’t people get screened for colon cancer?
- Preparing for the exam. Typically patients must avoid solid foods the day before the exam and limit themselves to clear liquids. You likely can’t consume any foods or liquids after midnight the night before the exam. Additionally you’ll be asked to take a laxative or use an enema kit to empty your bowels.
- Experiencing a colonoscopy. During a colonoscopy, your physician will insert a colonoscope into the rectum that allows the doctor to look for any polyps or other abnormalities. A mild sedative is usually administered so you don’t feel any pain.
- Recovering from a colonoscopy. After the exam, you may feel bloated or pass gas for a few hours, due to the air pumped into the colon that gives a better view of the lining. You may notice a small amount of blood pass with your first bowel movement.
- Not having enough time. Although the colonoscopy exam itself only takes 20 minutes to an hour to complete, preparation before and recovery time afterward usually requires planning an entire day away from normal activities.
- Incorrectly believing they don’t have to be screened. There’s a myth that colon cancer disproportionally affects men more than women. The reality is colon cancer affects both genders. Another misconception is that only those with a family history of colon or rectal cancer should be screened. While genetic disposition may increase your chances, it is not the sole determining factor in who gets colon cancer.
Why should people be screened for colon cancer?
It’s simple: If you don’t screen for colon cancer you significantly decrease your chances of identifying pre-cancerous polyps before they become cancer or removing cancerous tissue in its early stages (and boosting your survival rate). Colon cancer is very preventable with screening. Schedule your appointment today.