If Your Doctor Asks You to Have a Colonoscopy, This Is How You Should Respond
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.