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Should I get a colonoscopy?

The fact that you are considering this important procedure suggests that you take your health seriously. Getting a colonoscopy could save your life. Whether cancer runs in your family or you have heard that getting a colonoscopy is important, there are several things to consider and many resources available to you. It will help you to discuss this with your doctor and learn more about the procedure.

You may have come across the American Cancer Society guidelines recommending colonoscopies for adults over the age of 50. If cancer runs in your family, you may need to get the procedure at a younger age, so ask your doctor for guidance.

One study produced clear evidence that removal of adenomas, also known as polyps, reduced the risk of colorectal cancer and mortality in a large cohort of patients. This means that you could add many healthy years to your life by going through with this procedure.

One of the main things you are probably wondering about is any pain and discomfort involved in the procedure. Your doctor will be able to address your concerns, but most patients feel no pain and many do not even remember it after it happens. This is because you are provided with IV medications to keep you comfortable and sleepy. After the procedure, you will need to rest and have someone drive you home. Keep in mind that there are special preparations you will need to make before a colonoscopy. These include taking strong laxatives to make sure the bowel is clean and any polyps are visible to your doctor. The main thing to remind yourself is that any discomfort you feel is temporary.

Are you age 50 or over?
Does cancer run in your family, or is this information unknown to you?
Which of the following factors apply to you?
Have you gotten a colonoscopy before?
Are you wondering whether you should get a colonoscopy or have questions about it?