Chances are, if you’re 50 or over, you already know you should get a colonoscopy. So if you haven’t done it yet, why not? Maybe you forgot or you’re too busy. Or perhaps it’s just that the preparation sounds awful and the procedure seems worse.
We’re not going to try to change your mind—OK, maybe we are. Here are 10 good reasons to schedule your colonoscopy as soon as possible.
- Every year, 140,000 people in the United States get colorectal cancer and more than 52,000 people die from it. Most cases are preventable with regular screenings.
- Preparation for your procedure will last only a day and it isn’t that bad—especially if you compare it to getting colorectal cancer. But, as a patient, you play a critical role by preparing your bowel for the procedure. You’ll probably drink a liquid that will zip right through you, removing everything from your colon. Sure, the process is likely to keep you at home and, more specifically, in your bathroom for a day. But it isn’t usually painful.
- You aren’t likely to remember the procedure and it doesn’t hurt. You’ll probably be under an anesthetic that acts fast and wears off quickly.
- Recovery time is short—about a day—and creates the opportunity for you to binge-watch television while guiltlessly eating whatever you want. Since you can’t ingest anything but clear liquids the day before your colonoscopy, you’ve got some catch-up calories to consume.
- Precancerous polyps and colorectal cancer oftentimes don’t have symptoms, especially at first. But polyps can be identified and removed during your colonoscopy before they turn into cancer.
- About two-thirds of the adults in the United States are up-to-date with their colorectal cancer screenings. Joining the club will help make your health possible.
- When your colonoscopy is complete and any polyps have been removed, you’ll have one less thing to worry about.
- Since they are considered preventative screenings, most colonoscopies are covered by insurance at no cost to you.
- If your colonoscopy results are normal, you might not need another one for 10 years. If your doctor removes benign polyps from your colon, you probably won’t have to go back for five.
- Following your colonoscopy, you’ll probably be able to brag about your healthy colon to your friends and even encourage them to schedule their own screenings.