Lately, there has been so much advocacy about preventive medicine. Most especially for diseases like cancer. Colon cancer is the third type of cancer, causing large numbers of annual global deaths. If diagnosed early, it can be prevented and managed. Colonoscopy is one of the procedures to go about its nascent detection.
What is a colonoscopy?
Colonoscopy is an endoscopic medical approach to investigating different intestinal abnormalities. During a colonoscopy examination, a long tube is inserted through the rectum with a tiny camera at the tip of the tube. This enables the physician to navigate his way around the colon to look for medical irregularities.
Sometimes, some polyps and abnormal tissue samples can be removed and collected for laboratory tests.
If you’ve recently been recommended the procedure by your doctor, here are some things you need to know. Some of these highlights are also debunkers of the myths about colonoscopy.
1. Colonoscopy isn’t only used to investigate colon cancer
There are several intestinal conditions that this medical technique checks. For example, if you complain about abdominal pains, constipation, rectal bleeding, or severe diarrhea, colonoscopy is a way to explore these symptoms.
In addition, polyps are believed to cause cancers and are removed through this method. Over time, you’ll also need to come back to the hospital for a follow-up check to ensure these pre-cancerous polyps are completely removed and aren’t growing back.
2. The procedure is comfortable and isn’t time-consuming
The average timespan for this exam in most cases is about 30 minutes. Your gastroenterologist or colorectal surgeon with their teams makes this experience a quick and convenient one. After you’re done with the exam, you’ll most likely be sent leaving almost immediately. Although that’s if there isn’t any discovery requiring emergency intervention.
3. Anyone can get a colonoscopy
Colonoscopy isn’t an exam meant for a particular sex, age group, or societal class alone. Colorectal cancers and Gastrointestinal diseases are experienced by everyone. Recent guidelines mandate it if you’re aged 45 to 50; or above. You may need to check in to the hospital for this sole purpose as soon as possible. This recommendation is so because colon cancers are found to be prevalent in younger patients globally according to the American Cancer Society.
If nothing is found, you may not need to come back to the hospital for a colonoscopy until after a decade.
4. The exam has some peculiar risks
Rarely is there any test or procedure in healthcare without its measured risks. Some of these scarce risks include adverse reactions to sedatives used during the exam, possible continuous bleeding from the site of tissue collected for biopsy, and sometimes, perforation of the intestinal wall.
5. Colonoscopy prep isn’t what it used to be
Over the years, preparation for the procedure has been described as obnoxious. Well, medicine isn’t a field without constant evolution in practices. Most of these pre-exam preps have been improved.
Now, you don’t have to gulp a gallon of laxative at once before the procedure. With the adoption of split prep, you can use a prescribed laxative twice while you’re being monitored for a couple of hours. Moreover, tablets-based prep is also in use.
Going for a colonoscopy is preventive medicine. You’ll be glad you did this because it could change your life. And contrary to the public’s erroneous opinions, it isn’t a horrible exam.