Colonoscopies are one of the most feared and avoided screening tests. This makes sense. The whole idea is a little embarrassing and uncomfortable. And on top of that, the prep for a colonoscopy is not known to be pleasant. In spite of all this, though, you really should schedule a colonoscopy if one is being recommended by your doctor. Here are the key reasons why.
You could have colon cancer and not know it
When people avoid getting a colonoscopy, they often do so with the excuse that they don't have any symptoms, and they would know if they had colon cancer. The problem is, they wouldn't necessarily know. Colon cancer does not always cause obvious symptoms at first. Or, it can cause symptoms that are so minor and obscure that people do not realize they're due to colon cancer. You may have mild stomach cramps on occasion that you always pass off as being caused by bad food. Or, you may have black streaks in your stool that you never realized were blood. Relying on symptoms to determine whether you have colon cancer is simply inaccurate. You need to have a colonoscopy to truly know.
Colonoscopies can detect polyps, too
Colonoscopies are not just a tool for screening for colon cancer. They can also diagnose other colon problems, including colon polyps. These are basically benign growths on the inside of the colon. They can become cancerous later on, and even when they are not cancerous, they can cause problems like abdominal cramps and difficulty passing stool. If you have a colonoscopy and your doctor discovers polyps, they'll generally remove the polyps right then and there.
Your doctor will do all they can to make it less embarrassing
Another reason to get a colonoscopy is that it's usually much less embarrassing than people imagine it will be. The doctors and practitioners who conduct these tests know patients will be self-conscious, and they do all they can to make patients feel comfortable. You'll be given either anesthetic or a sedative, so you won't be aware of what's going on during the test. You'll be able to remain dressed, at least in a hospital gown, until you're under the sedative or anesthetic.
If you're due for colon cancer screening, talk to a test provider, such as Gastro Health. This test is not as embarrassing as you might think. It is the best way to detect cancer and polyps.