If Your Doctor Asks You to Have a Colonoscopy, This Is How You Should Respond
According to statistics, over 50,000 people die from colon cancer in the US in 2017. Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in the US. Every year almost 140,000 people are diagnosed with the disease. The only way to get a colon diagnosis today is a colonoscopy which incidentally is a doctor’s favorite recommended examination.
1There are other options available
What you may not know is that even though there are other options available, doctors’ aren’t prone to recommend them. SO! When your doctor recommends a colonoscopy, you need to respond by asking for other options which may also have several benefits in detecting the health of your colon. However, it also relates to your condition at the time. This is for information only.
2Doctors will always insist on colonoscopies
Even though there are several screening options available, doctors will invariably order you a colonoscopy while failing to look at other options that can benefit their patients. There are surprising reasons why they do this. That being said, doctors say that when patients are acquainted with other options most of them decide on colonoscopies. Read on about the effects of a colonoscopy.
According to records, 1 in every 350 colonoscopy ends in harmful effects for a patient and 1 in 1000 may result in death. While the advantages of a colonoscopy mean a diagnosis of colorectal cancer, it also comes with several risk factors involved.
• Abdominal problems: discomfort, cramps and bloating
• Anal Bleeding: if bleeding continues, call your doctor. Inform him if you are on meds like aspirin and certain vitamins or medication that can increase the risk of bleeding
• Breathing problems: This may be a side effect or bad reaction to anesthesia
• Constipation: this can occur after a colonoscopy
• Sickness: Nausea and dizziness
• Blood: Blood in stool
• Tear in colon: Although rare, if it occurs, it will have to be repaired with surgery
4Why doctors may advise colonoscopy
Did you know why doctors keep prescribing new medication or various tests that you feel you don’t need? That’s because they get a fat commission for recommending the procedure. This is a common practice where doctors receive financial kickbacks for test recommendations.
Articles in the NY Times and ABC have detailed how this process works. ABC reported that when doctors need to cover their own butts, they simply finger yours!! Surveillance procedure related to colonoscopies collected data nationwide to find that 50% of doctors recommended colonoscopies unnecessarily.
According to Dr Pauline Mysliwiec who authored the research study, “When your doctor does make a recommendation that seems aggressive, ask why, and where you fit in the assigned guidelines.”
5The other option
A sigmoidoscopy is another test that can examine your colon but with fewer of the complications. Inspite of such tests existing, doctors will recommend a colonoscopy 95% of the time. The next time you want your colon examined, talk to your doctor about a sigmoidoscopy.
Both tests use a thin flexible tube with a camera that relays back pictures of the colon. But while a colonoscopy examines the entire colon, a sigmoidoscopy examines only the left side of the colon.
6Sigmoidoscopy is easier
Sigmoidoscopy is always easier on patients and is not as complicated as a colonoscopy because patients aren’t usually sedated during the process. The only disadvantage is that it could be examining the healthy portion of the colon while leaving out the one with problems. Several patients undergoing sigmoidoscopy were found to have problems in the areas not examined.
Ideally, when a sigmoidoscopy is done, you should get an additional screening examination called a fecal occult blood test that can detect cancer in the colon. A colonoscopy can be done every ten years while a sigmoidoscopy along with FOBT every 5 years.
7Colonoscopy can reveal false positives
According to the prostate cancer foundation, 30-40% of men who underwent prostate cancer treatment had harmless tumors.
Whenever you get a colonoscopy done, ensure that the scope is cleaned with peracetic acid. In most diagnostic centers, Cidex is used to clean the scope but the problem here is that Cidex does not sterilize a scope effectively and only complicates the process.
When preparing for a colonoscopy, doctors may ask you to prepare by skipping dinner or even breakfast before the process. You may be asked to consume two to four liters of liquid containing laxatives and electrolytes.
9Use peppermint oil
Consult with your doctor if peppermint oil can be applied during the procedure. Research has found that Peppermint oil has been found to reducer spasms during the process.
All said and done, in spite of risks involved with a colonoscopy, doctors feel it is still the most reliable way to check for colon cancer.
10How to keep your colon healthy
Instead of having to decide what tube goes up your backside, be it a sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy, it is better to maintain the health of your colon with these tips and live a healthy lifestyle to prevent colon or anal cancer.
Get screened regularly by choosing from colonoscopy, sigmoidoscopy, FOBT, or 3D virtual colonoscopy.
• Eat less red meat and avoid processed meat
• Eat foods that promote healthy elimination of toxic waste from your colon
• Keep a check on your pooping habits and consult a doctor if anything is unusual
• Avoid drinking too much alcohol
• Maintain a healthy weight
• Exercise and be physically active
• Be sure to get enough calcium and vitamin D
• Consult with your doctor for a multivitamin with folate
• Stop smoking
11Fruits and vegetables prevent colon cancer
Eating more fruits and vegetables and adding them to your diet decreases the risk of colon cancer because of vitamins and fiber. Eating red meat, pork, lamb and processed meat from fast food increases your risk of colon cancer.
Important note: It should be understood that while the title implies how you should respond to your doctor, it does not advocate you denying his advice neither does it tell you to say “No “which after all is the final judge on any recommendation. We seek to enlighten you on your options in situations which applies to your condition. If your condition does require a colonoscopy, then you should have one.