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Colon cancer is the 2nd leading cause of cancer death in this country.  Approximately 1 in 3 people who develop colon cancer die from this disease.  But colon cancer is preventable.  A screening can save your life!  So why have only two-thirds of Americans over the age of 50 been screened for a colonoscopy?  Unfortunately, there are many misconceptions about colonoscopies which may discourage people from undergoing this life-saving procedure.

Myth:  It hurts.

Fact:  With the use of the sedative propofol, there is no pain.  Most people say, “That was the best sleep I have had in years.”  There may be some mild cramping after the procedure which quickly goes away when you pass gas.

Myth:  The preparation is unpleasant.

Fact:  While many people say this is the worst part of the process, the fact is that bowel preps today really have minimal taste.  And you no longer need to drink an entire gallon.  Most preps are about 1/2 gallon given in a split dose; half the night before the procedure and half the morning of the procedure.

Myth:  It is embarrassing.

Fact:  A colonoscopy is an invasive test.  But your doctor and nurse will do everything possible to ensure the most private, respectful, and modest experience for you.

Myth:  There are risks.

Fact:  When performed by specially-trained physicians (gastroenterologists), colonoscopies are extremely safe.  The risk of perforation (tear in the colon) is less than 1 in 1,000, and the risk of bleeding is less than 1 in 100.

Myth:  It takes too long.  I’ll miss too much work.

Fact:  You will need to arrive 45 minutes before your scheduled procedure to fill out paperwork, have an IV started, and give your medical history to the nurse.  The actual procedure only takes 15-20 minutes.  You will then spend 15-30 minutes in recovery.  So the total time you are at the medical facility is usually less than 1 and 1/2 hours.  You are advised not to drive for 4 hours.  After that, it’s back to normal.

Myth:  Colon cancer only affects men.

Fact:  Men and women have nearly an equal risk of developing colon cancer.

Myth:  I don’t have any symptoms.  I’m not at risk for colon cancer.

Fact:  Colon cancer starts as a precancerous growth in your colon called a polyp.  Most polyps don’t cause any symptoms.  A colonoscopy detects polyps so they can be removed before they turn into cancer.

Myth:  It costs too much.

Fact:  Medicare and Medicaid cover 100% of a screening colonoscopy if you are age 50 or older.  Almost all private insurances cover colonoscopies as well.  And even if you don’t have insurance, many physicians offer a private pay discount.

Don’t delay.  Call the experienced specialists at Granite Peaks Gastroenterology and schedule your colonoscopy today.  It could save your life.  Join the many who have said, “If I had known how easy this procedure was, I would have scheduled it a long time ago!”