Getting screened for colon cancer is rarely on the prime of anybody’s checklist of favourite issues to do, however Pat Peterson took it in stride.
“I’ve had a colonoscopy earlier than,” she stated. “Sure, it’s disagreeable, it’s disruptive, however you do it.”
When it was time for Pat, 68, to get her newest screening, her physician really useful Cologuard®. This new at-home screening check entails testing your stool for DNA adjustments which will point out colon most cancers or precancerous polyps.
The Bloomington, Illinois, lady discovered the method straightforward. “It wasn’t essentially the most enjoyable on the earth, but it surely was no large deal,” she stated. “The presentation of the product and the directions have been very clear. There was no confusion about what you have been speculated to do when.”
Sadly, Pat’s Cologuard check got here again with a optimistic, indicating she wanted a follow-up screening. This time, it must be a colonoscopy.
‘Colonoscopy has come a good distance’
Many individuals are hesitant to have a colonoscopy, which is the gold customary of screening for colon most cancers. Utilizing a colonoscope, a versatile tube with a lightweight and small video digicam, the physician seems on the complete size of the colon and rectum. A transparent liquid food regimen and colon cleanse is required the day earlier than. You’re sedated throughout the process. The physician takes tissue samples or removes any polyps.
“There’s a worry of the method and a few city legends round colonoscopy, so some persons are reluctant to leap on the possibility of doing it,” stated Omar Khokhar, MD, a gastroenterologist at OSF Medical Group – Gastroenterology in Bloomington.
“Colonoscopy has come a good distance because the early Nineteen Nineties,” he stated. “The devices are totally different. Quite a lot of people come to me and are hesitant based mostly on their earlier expertise and different individuals’s expertise, however the sedation used is loads simpler to induce and get up from, and our scopes are a lot softer and extra versatile, so the danger of any form of harm is way lower than it was once.”
Pat had a colonoscopy within the mid-2000s and wasn’t afraid to have one other, however she lives alone and doesn’t have household close by and wasn’t certain who to ask to drive her to the appointment, wait, after which take her dwelling. A pal supplied to assist.
“That was actually a stumbling block for me for some time,” she stated. “It’s a private factor to ask somebody that can assist you with.”
Dr. Khokhar carried out the colonoscopy and was in a position to take away the precancerous polyps in Pat’s colon.
Make a plan
In case you’re due for colon screening and also you haven’t but made an appointment, Pat recommends sticking to a schedule and simply getting it accomplished. Take into consideration the recommendation you’d give another person in your scenario and ensure you keep on prime of your well being.
“Don’t stew on it. I stewed on it for too lengthy, and I ended up with some pathology,” she stated. “The physician was in a position to eliminate it, however who is aware of the place that might have gone?”
Individuals with a median danger of colon most cancers ought to begin getting screened at age 45, relying on the advice of a physician. In case you’re undecided whether or not a colonoscopy or an at-home screening technique is best for you, speak to your physician.
“The perfect check,” Dr. Khokhar stated, “is the one you’re prepared to do.”
Final Up to date: January 28, 2022