A Simple Colonoscopy Could Save Your Life - NFCR


A Simple Colonoscopy Could Save Your Life

This installment of the NFCR blog is by Liz Diamond, Major Gifts Officer with NFCR (she’s also the beguiling Brit that graces our voicemail!)

I have just had a colonoscopy and received a result that indicates I have no early signs of colon cancer.  This is my second excellent colonoscopy with a clean result and since I have no family history of colon cancer, I was advised to schedule another procedure in 10 years.

I am not a doctor and I don’t even play one on TV but my reason for telling you this is that I’m really hoping that you will consider having a colonoscopy too!  It could save your life.

If you are over 50 years of age, have a family history of colon cancer, are overweight or a smoker, schedule a visit to your general practitioner sooner rather than later to see when a colonoscopy is indicated for you.  (50 years old is the age that guidelines tell us to have our 1st colonoscopy for early detection.) Colon cancer is the development of cancer from the colon or the rectum, and it is due to the abnormal growth of cells that have the ability to invade or spread to other parts of the body.  I happen to live in Maryland and in my state, colon cancer is currently the second leading cause of cancer deaths.

COLON CANCER IS OFTEN TIMES PREVENTABLE!!!!!!  If, during a colonoscopy procedure performed under anesthesia by a gastroenterologist, polyps or pre-cancerous polyps are discovered in your colon, they will be removed during the procedure.  I am stressing the word PRE because if these polyps were left to grow unchecked, some of them have the potential to become cancerous.

Don’t take that risk!  Cancer is more treatable when it is diagnosed in early stages. If you are 50 or over, go ahead and schedule your colonoscopy.  If you are under 50 and have a family history of colon cancer or cancer polyps, or if you are African-American, then you may be advised to have colonoscopies starting at an earlier age than 50 and having them at shorter intervals than ten years.

In the immortal words of a certain ad – JUST DO IT! – make that appointment.   I am glad I did.  Even if my result had not been as favorable, my doctor and I would have taken further steps to prevent me from getting a colon cancer diagnosis.