Our Gastroenterology Blog

Posts for: March, 2016

By GI Associates
March 30, 2016
Category: Colonoscopy

No one ever looks forward to getting a colonoscopy, and for most people, the prep is the hardest part. It may not be fun, but proper preparation is the difference between an accurate, effective colonoscopy and a less successful one.

Here’s what you can expect:

 

1-3 Days before Your Colonoscopy:

For most people, two days before your colonoscopy, you will be instructed to modify your diet.

This generally means increasing your clear liquid intake and avoiding red meat, seeds, nuts, popcorn, corn or high fiber foods.  And you may be asked to start taking an oral laxative. (In certain circumstances, your doctor may recommend you begin similar or additional diet modifications up to three days before the procedure.)

Stock up on clear liquids and broths or bullion. Coffee and tea are also okay, alcohol is not.

 

1 Day before Your Colonoscopy:

Typically, your doctor will instruct you to start a clear liquid diet the day before your colonoscopy. Be sure to avoid drinking anything red or purple—the dyes can be confused with blood or inflammation in the colon during your procedure.

 

The Evening before Your Colonoscopy:

This is when you will start drinking the cleansing solution prescribed by your doctor. Be sure to have enough toilet paper, wipes if they make you more comfortable, and plenty of reading material. Plan to stay at home and near a bathroom.

Don’t forget that this temporary discomfort is all so that the doctors can detect every polyp and potential cause for concern in your colon. Preparing for a colonoscopy can be challenging, but having colorectal cancer would be even more so.

 

The Morning of Your Colonoscopy:

If you have any more cleansing solution to drink, do so with plenty of time before you have to get in the car.

Celebrate a job well done. The hard part for you is over. Congratulations on making it through the preparation process, and making the wise decision to schedule your colonoscopy!  

 

Read more:

5 Ways to Convince Your Spouse It's Time for A Colonoscopy

Colorectal Cancer: Know the Risk Factors


There are plenty of good reasons to get a colonoscopy. But what happens when your partner is reluctant to get his or hers? Here are some strategies—from silly to serious—to help you persuade your loved one that a colonoscopy is important and necessary.

  1. Remind Him that Colon Cancer is the Only Preventable Cancer. Each year nearly 137,000 people are diagnosed with colorectal cancer in the U.S. and over 50,000 people die from it annually. A simple colonoscopy, however, can detect precancerous polyps and stop threats before they start. Tell him not to risk getting cancer just because a colonoscopy sounds daunting.  

  2. Tell Her It’s Worth It. No one is going to sugarcoat it: Colonoscopies, especially the preparation for them, isn’t’ anyone’s idea of fun. But it’s worth it. Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death. One rough day could make the difference between detecting colon cancer early or finding it too late. 

  3. Two Words: Peer Pressure. Two-thirds of those who should be getting colonoscopies are getting colonoscopies. You and your peers are in the same situation. Be a leader and don’t be afraid to get a colonoscopy.  

  4. Bribes. What’s her favorite food? Tell her it will be waiting for her after her colonoscopy. Does he really want to go watch the game with friends that evening you had theater tickets? Tell him you’ll take someone else if he gets that colonoscopy. A new item of clothing, a free pass from taking out the garbage? Whatever it takes, it’s worth it. 

  5. Highlight All the Reasons To Not Get Colorectal Cancer. Have a big trip coming up? Don’t let colorectal cancer ruin it. Have grandkids? Hoping to have grandkids? Give yourself as long as possible to enjoy your life. You don’t know what the future holds. But there’s no reason it should hold colorectal cancer. 

Resources

4 Questions to Ask Before You Get a Colonoscopy

Colonoscopy: Frequently Asked Questions

Colon Cancer Screening: Six Questions That Could Save Your Life

In honor of March being Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, we are sharing the key risk factors for colon cancer. Colon cancer is sometimes called “the silent killer” because symptoms often don’t present themselves until later stages. That’s why it’s so important to get regular screenings after the age of 50—even if you have no other risk factors.

Colorectal cancer refers to cancer of the colon or rectum. The exact cause is not yet known, but the following risk factors may increase the chance that a person will develop this disease:

  • Age. The chances of developing colorectal cancer increase after age 50. In fact, more than 90% of people diagnosed with colorectal cancer are at least 50 years old.
  • Family history. Having close relatives (parents, siblings or children) who have been diagnosed with colorectal cancer increases your likelihood of having it. If you are at a higher risk, your physician may recommend screenings for you before the age of 50.
  • Personal history of colorectal polyps or colorectal cancer. A polyp is a growth that develops on the inner lining of the colon or rectum. Some polyps may become cancerous. If you’ve been diagnosed with colorectal cancer in the past, the disease may reoccur.
  • Personal history of inflammatory bowel disease. Other risk factors include eating diets high in fat and red meat, lack of exercise, smoking, and bowel disorders such as Crohn’s disease. Although some risk factors, such as age and family history, cannot be avoided, other factors are within your control.

Of course, the biggest risk anyone can take when it comes to colorectal cancer is not getting screened. Colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in the U.S., but it has a 90% survival rate when caught early enough. Talk to your doctor about scheduling an appointment today.

Visit our Colon Cancer Screening and Colonoscopy pages to learn more.