Myths about getting a colonoscopy
There are a lot of reasons people give for not getting a colonoscopy. However, most people don’t understand why it’s important to get a colonoscopy. Here are just a few excuses patients give about putting off a colonoscopy.
I don’t need a colonoscopy if I’m not at risk for cancer.
False. Everyone is at risk for colon cancer. Colorectal polyps typically form after the age of 50. Removing polyps that are detected during a colonoscopy decreases the chance of developing colon cancer.
The preparation for a colonoscopy isn’t healthy, so I won’t get one.
False. The old preparation for a colonoscopy used to require patients to drink a gallon of solution the night prior the procedure. However, many physicians now choose to split the dose, making preparation a little easier.
A colonoscopy is too painful even with conscious sedation.
False. Even though it’s not the most comfortable procedure, more than 99 percent of patients don’t remember the procedure taking place even with conscious sedation.
There are too many risks associated with a colonoscopy.
False. Only one out of every 1,000 patients receiving a colonoscopy experience perforation or bleeding. When done by a trained physician, the procedure is perfectly safe.
You can’t prevent colon cancer, so there’s no point in getting a colonoscopy.
False. With proper screening beginning at 50, colon cancer is preventable. It’s also important to maintain a healthy diet, exercise and avoid smoking in order to decrease chances of getting colon polyps or colon cancer.