Nobody likes to go through colonoscopies (except the doctors who perform them on you, of course). But colonoscopy is an excellent screening tool that is sometimes absolutely necessary for some people. However, the key words here are “sometimes” and “for some people.”
So, should you start dropping your pants immediately after your doctor recommends colonoscopy for you? Well, not necessarily. We have some good news for colonoscopy haters. But first, some short synopsis of the subject. Read on, you won’t regret it.
Colonoscopy can be pain in the ass – literally!
It’s a fact: people hate colonoscopies because the test can be rather uncomfortable. A doctor inserts into your rectum a flexible, long tube with a camera and a light at the tip, so he can see the inside of your colon, which is about 5 feet long. Also, some air is pumped into your colon to keep it dilated. This can give you abdominal cramps and extensive bloating after the colonoscopy is done.
Another unpleasant issue with colonoscopy that in order to clean your bowels you have to drink a gallon of nasty laxative, which gives you violent diarrhea and sometimes sore rectum.
Colonoscopy can be Expensive
And there is another problem… Colonoscopy can be very expensive: up to $5000. You have the count the cost of anesthesia, which most doctors use during colonoscopy. And if a doctor finds cancerous or pre-cancerous polyp, he will remove it. Then, the test category will be changed from “colon screening” to “diagnostic or therapeutic procedure”, which significantly increases the cost of colonoscopy.
The Need for Colonoscopy
Nevertheless, colonoscopy is gold standard test that is strongly recommended by medical doctors for early detection of colon cancer, intestinal polyps and diagnosis of IBD (ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease).
A new option for non-invasive colon cancer screening!
Today, we have a new non-invasive alternative test called Cologuard. FDA approved this test for colorectal cancer (CRC) screening. Cologuard must be ordered by your doctor. Medicare and some private insurance plans cover the cost of this test.
If you don’t have insurance, the out of pocket cost for the test is $649.
According to Medscape “Cologuard analyzes stool specimens to detect hemoglobin, multiple DNA methylation and mutational markers, and the total amount of human DNA contained in cells that are shed by CRC or advanced adenomas into the colon”.
Here is the link to COLOGUARD website
Get Timely Colon Cancer Screening
According to American Cancer Society, “colorectal cancer is the 3rd leading cause of cancer-related deaths in USA”.
Most colon cancer start as intestinal polyps, which grow on the lining of the colon. Over time some polyps become cancerous; that is why it’s important to identify whether or not you have polyps and promptly remove them before they become cancerous.
So, don’t delay! Get screened for colon cancer if you are age 50 or over, or if you have family or a personal history of colorectal polyps, colon cancer, ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease.
I don’t know of any blood tests test can be used instead of colonoscopy. If you are looking for colon cancer screening without doing colonoscopy, you can start with doing stool test with Cologuard. Here is the link to their website: https://www.cologuard.com/
According to Cologuard this test should be used “to screen adults 45 years of age and older who are at average risk for colorectal cancer by detecting certain DNA markers and blood in the stool. Do not use if you have had adenomas, have inflammatory bowel disease and certain hereditary syndromes, or a personal or family history of colorectal cancer.”