Tomorrow is Colonoscopy day for Harley, he he he.
Having had a colonoscopy myself I can tell you the day before the test is more challenging than test day, after all you will sleep right through the test.
For me the day before the test good news is:
· I don’t have to decide what to prepare for breakfast, lunch or dinner, those are clear liquids for the test taker, nothing to prepare.
· No, trip to the grocery store, I go almost every day, I am not a good food planner.
· When the colons cleanse starts around 4PM I will have the house to myself, Harley will be busy in the bathroom.
The best news is when the test is complete the results will tell us the state of Harley’s colon. Colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death and frequently the symptoms are invisible until it is in an advanced stage.
If you haven’t had a colonoscopy there is good news and bad news.
The good news, this is a "therapeutic," not just a "diagnostic" test if polypus are found they can be removed during the test painlessly, frequently with no follow up required. Removing polypus is considered an effective way to prevent colon cancer. If a biopsy is determined to be necessary that can be performed at the same time too.
· “When colorectal cancer is found early and treated, the 5-year relative survival rate is 90%. Because screening rates are low, less than 40% of colorectal cancers are found early.”
· “Colorectal cancer can be prevented by removing precancerous polyps (abnormal growths), which can be present in the colon for as many as 10 years before invasive cancer develops.”
The bad news is statistics for the risk of colon perforation increases as we age. Serious problems can result from procedural errors, discussing the risk/benefits with your doctor is imperative. One of the side effects of a botched colonoscopy is death.
If you are new to colonoscopies and would like to know more in a basic text, a book written about colonoscopy procedures called “Colonoscopies for Dummies” is available.
If you would like to know more and prefer a video, CBS sponsored a webcast called “Colorectal Cancer and Digestive Disease.”