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DonRocks

Colonscopy - 40-Years-Old Is Now the Recommended Age for Your First One

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"Colon Cancer Rates Rise in Young Adults: Earlier Screening Advised" on health.clevelandclinic.org

I WANT EVERYONE ON THIS WEBSITE OVER THE AGE OF 40 TO GO GET A COLONOSCOPY.

There are new guidelines from the American Cancer Society: The age is now 40, not 50.

Comparing people born in 1950, and people born in 1990:

* The risk of getting colon cancer before age 50 is twice as high

* The risk of getting rectal cancer before age 50 is four-times as high

LISTEN UP!

I took a friend to get a colonoscopy a few weeks ago. Early 50s, healthy, non-smoker, went ten years without drinking, lean and muscular, athletic. 

Guess what?

***HUGE*** polyp - so big that the doctor referred him to a surgeon. He just went to see a Johns Hopkins specialist - the threat of cancer isn't as bad as he first thought, but it's still there, and he won't know for sure for several more weeks.

Cancer or not, do you really want to go through the stress of not knowing? And once you find something that needs to be biopsied, do you really want to wait several weeks to find out if you have cancer?

We just lost John Pearson. I do not want to lose anyone else to something so preventable.

GET IT DONE. I just had my second (results normal), and you're completely asleep - you don't feel or remember anything.

Any "Star Trek" fans here? If so, you probably remember the impossibly seductive "Green Girl" from the pilot.

GreenGirl.jpegSusan Oliver, dead, age 58, colorectal cancer.

And we all remember the most iconic poster of the 1970s:

Farrah.jpgFarrah Fawcett, dead, age 62, anal cancer.

Do you want to meet your grandchildren? GET IT DONE.

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If you have colon cancer in your family, it's especially important. My paternal grandfather had it and managed to survive. Twelve years ago when I told my doctor about my family's history, he told me to get one done. I was only 40. Sure enough, they removed a couple of polyps. If I had waited until 50, who knows what might have happened. 

The procedure itself is no big deal-- the prep the night before kinda sucks, butt it's a small price to pay for peace of mind.

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29 minutes ago, Al Dente said:

The procedure itself is no big deal-- the prep the night before kinda sucks, butt it's a small price to pay for peace of mind.

You essentially spend a few hours curled up with a good book and a couple liters of water - more importantly, Champagne is a clear liquid (really).

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Had my initial colonoscopy a couple years ago. I bit the bullet for 999 others and ended up with a minor perforation. (Healed itself after antibiotics and a couple of nights in the hospital). Not fun, but better than discovering colon cancer too late to do anything about. 

They discovered/took a couple of small benign polyps, and I’m on the five year plan. 

I agree. Get it done. 

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21 hours ago, ol_ironstomach said:

Helpful tip: when it comes to "prep", having a bidet or washlet toilet seat is pretty much the best thing ever.

Absent these, a less expensive option (and I'm sorry to be so detailed) would be to purchase a box of medicated baby wipes to minimize irritation - you'll eventually be fine with or without them, but they'll make your life easier if you use them early and often. This is not a "male vs. female" thing, so females will have the exact same issues, and should address them in the exact same way.

1. Several hours of privacy
2. At least two liters of fluid (even if you don't like Gatorade, you'll start liking it more than you think).
3. Medicated wipes
4. A good book or laptop
5. Chilled Champagne (why not), but be careful about getting tipsy while dehydrated.

This is like "when the baby decides to come out" - there's nothing you can do about it, so just roll with it. There will be about an hour when, as soon as you stand up, you'll need to sit right back down (you'll know when things become comical as you're saying to yourself, 'This isn't humanly possible.') Seriously, have a glass of Champagne, but be very careful about dehydration - pound down as much water as you can. Aside from minor cramping and superficial skin irritation (hence the wipes), there is no pain; just urgency.

When this is done, the actual procedure is a walk in the park - you get an awesome buzz when they put you under, and you remember nothing. You'll need a ride home from the hospital (no exceptions, and Lyft doesn't count unless you're *really* sneaky and arrange it in advance with your driver - you need to give the nurse a name and phone number in advance, so just get someone you know to pick you up). Then, they'll tell you to "take it easy the rest of the day" - BS, I say go out and have a grilled cheese sandwich and fries immediately afterwards.

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For those of you at "normal" risk and are not really interested in the invasive procedure, there's an in-home diagnostic test: https://www.cologuardtest.com/

Also, if interested in the genetics of early colon cancer, here's some info: (this is important if there's a family health history or if someone in your family was diagnosed in their 40s or 50s)
https://www.cancer.gov/types/colorectal/hp/colorectal-genetics-pdq

Respectfully, anal cancer and colon cancer seem to have different causes so maybe shouldn't be confounded.

https://www.cancer.org/cancer/anal-cancer/causes-risks-prevention/risk-factors.html

 

 

 

 

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8 minutes ago, NolaCaine said:

Respectfully, anal cancer and colon cancer seem to have different causes so maybe shouldn't be confounded.

That's right, Farrah Fawcett wasn't a good example - there's a reason it's called "colorectal cancer," and not "colorectal-anal cancer."

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1 hour ago, DonRocks said:

That's right, Farrah Fawcett wasn't a good example - there's a reason it's called "colorectal cancer," and not "colorectal-anal cancer."

But you got to use her picture...so there's that. 😉

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My first one was not pleasant. They were stingy with the sedation.  The doctor couldn't navigate the peritoneum  so they ordered a "virtual colonoscopy". Equally as uncomfortable.  

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6 hours ago, Mark Slater said:

My first one was not pleasant. They were stingy with the sedation.  The doctor couldn't navigate the peritoneum  so they ordered a "virtual colonoscopy". Equally as uncomfortable.  

I'll be honest: My first one was not pleasant either - I wasn't fully out. Make *sure* you tell the doctor that you want to be O-U-T, and that you don't want to remember anything - I made absolutely sure of this the second time: They'll have no trouble putting you under (the same doctor did both ones) - there is absolutely no reason - barring exceptional health situations - that you should feel or remember a thing.

To anyone who wants to be bold and not be sedated: It's like having a baby out your ass in reverse. So don't do it. Would you get a cavity drilled without Lidocaine? No, you wouldn't, so don't - there's no need.

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23 hours ago, Mark Slater said:

My first one was not pleasant. They were stingy with the sedation.  The doctor couldn't navigate the peritoneum  so they ordered a "virtual colonoscopy". Equally as uncomfortable.  

Ha! I've had many upper GIs and now have a one-page checklist that I go through with the doctor, care team, and hand to my husband to enforce once I'm drugged...I start with I want to be completely out. Unfortunately, I've also had to say that I won't consent to a procedure if the IV isn't properly running, which happened once and the pain was amazing... 

 

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Lynch Syndrom (genetic test will diagnose) is associated with colon cancer in the 30s. Just learned that today (or relearned it).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hereditary_nonpolyposis_colorectal_cancer

Even though the risk of colon cancer is the same for men and women, women are far less likely to have the screening test, likely due to the prep and recovery and their responsibilities. So again, Cologuard (no, I am not an investor and in no way benefit). Non-invasive, at home test. 

 

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It’s not the procedure that scares me, it’s the dieting.  My doc says no booze the day before?  Can i eat stir fried veggies before the liquid diet?

p.s. i just turned 50.  I wasn’t recommended for earlier screening by inova.

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5 hours ago, Ericandblueboy said:

It’s not the procedure that scares me, it’s the dieting.  My doc says no booze the day before?  Can i eat stir fried veggies before the liquid diet?

p.s. i just turned 50.  I wasn’t recommended for earlier screening by inova.

There's no reason you can't have a bottle of champagne the night before.

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6 hours ago, DonRocks said:

There's no reason you can't have a bottle of champagne the night before.

Oh good.  Going to see the Magic Flute the day before my procedure.

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A little off topic but related...………..

Everyone should go to a dermatologist for a skin cancer scan.  A good friend of mine had a mole on her back and her boyfriend suggested she get it looked at.  She did.  It was cancerous and by the time they found and removed it, it had spread to other part of her body.  She fought it for two years, with awful treatments, horrible side effects, major weight gain, etc, but it was too late.  She was only 35.

Go to a dermo and get checked!!

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3 hours ago, Bart said:

A little off topic but related...………..

Everyone should go to a dermatologist for a skin cancer scan.  A good friend of mine had a mole on her back and her boyfriend suggested she get it looked at.  She did.  It was cancerous and by the time they found and removed it, it had spread to other part of her body.  She fought it for two years, with awful treatments, horrible side effects, major weight gain, etc, but it was too late.  She was only 35.

Go to a dermo and get checked!!

Yes, everyone should have a full-body scan - it takes ten minutes, and yes you are disrobed, but so what. Just get it done. People with numerous moles, etc. are at even higher risk, so that ups the urgency a bit.

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