No butts about it

Colonoscopy saves lives

mother and daughterColorectal cancer is one of only a few cancers that can be prevented through screening. So then why is it the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States? Well for one thing, people aren’t exactly enthusiastic about getting a colonoscopy. And who can blame them? There is certainly an ‘ick’ factor associated with the procedure. But this is mostly due to misinformation and a misplaced sense of modesty. The truth is, most people are given pain medication and a mild sedative that keeps them comfortable and relaxed during their exam. And many patients don’t even remember the exam!

New in-home test provides another screening option

No matter what, there are still going to be those who will not get a colonoscopy. In fact, it’s estimated that 30 percent of eligible adults have never been screened. That’s why a new home-based test called FIT or fecal immunochemical test is reported to detect 79 percent of colon cancers. The FIT test screening seems more accurate and convenient than earlier stool tests and can be performed in five minutes without any prep the night before.

Colonoscopy is still the gold standard

There’s no doubt that a colonoscopy is the most effective screening tool for colorectal cancer. It allows doctors to detect and remove both cancerous and precancerous polyps. But for those whose squeamishness prevents them from getting a colonoscopy, the FIT offer a good option.

Bottom line
Both men and women should get their first screening colonoscopy at age 50. And ladies, please make sure to encourage the men in your life to get screened. They are 35 to 40 percent more likely to die from this disease. Remember, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!

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