No one wants a colonoscopy.
A lot of people are even scared of them, so here are some fears debunked.
Ninety percent of colon cancers are preventable, but only about 50% of people who should have colonoscopies actually get them. One reason many give is fear of pain. However, doctors say most patients shouldn’t feel any pain because they’re placed under anesthesia.
"Most of the time, patients basically enter into a relative dream-like twilight zone level and then when they wake up, they don’t even remember that the procedure was done," said Dr. Matthew Ciorba, with Washington University in St. Louis.
Another reason people shy away from getting their colonoscopy is because of the prep that’s involved. However, the prep that is needed for a colonoscopy has vastly improved in recent years.
"Now there are some other options that also can use about half that volume, so about a half a gallon of liquid," Ciorba said.
There are also at-home colon cancer screening kits, but they’ll need to be repeated more often than a colonoscopy. Also, if they detect any abnormalities, you'll still need a real colonoscopy anyway.
Finally, even if you think a colonoscopy is the worst thing in the world, it might help save your life.
"I have had a colonoscopy and I have had cancer and cancer is worse, so much worse," said Annie Schreiber.
Also, you are never too young for a colonoscopy. There's been a sharp increase of adults in their 20's and 30's being diagnosed with colorectal cancer.
While screenings normally start at age 50, you should get checked earlier if you're having any problems or have a family history.