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Old 12-12-2012, 12:07 AM   #21
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I had my first colonoscopy under age 50 because my younger brother was diagnosed with colon cancer. He was only 41 at the time. So they told us all to get screened. He's still with us 9 years later, despite some reverses and tough times. I agree with those who say the prep is the worst part. But maybe that's because I never remember the procedure itself. "Conscious sedation" works like a charm on me.
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Old 12-12-2012, 07:17 AM   #22
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I do it every five years. As others have said, the actual procedure is essentially a non-event; the prep is the worst part but in the grand scheme of things it is nothing. I don't see any downside to it, it's good for peace of mind and I would not wait to age 50.

I agree with obgyn65; there should be some express feedback, don't just assume that no news is good news. Physicians and their staffs are busy people and are quite capable of making mistakes, and you don't want to 'fall between the cracks'.

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Originally Posted by BTravlin
As for the prep, if they give you the mix for the gallon jug, hand it back and ask for the small bottles. That gallon of mix is a killer to get down in the time interval they requested.
+1. Both times that I have done this, I was told to ingest some ridiculous quantity (4L, IIRC) of nauseating mixture. On both occasions I was physically unable to manage more than 2L, but after the procedures the doctor complimented me on the excellent prep. So the quantity is at least twice what is actually required, but I suppose it depends on the individual patient and they gross it up to allow for the worst cases.
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Old 12-12-2012, 07:34 AM   #23
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Add another encouraging voice to get it done. The worst part is the prep, and that is more inconvenient than anything else. I had the first one done at 42 in the process of diagnosing anemia (turned out to be an ulcer, long since healed) but in the process of that they also found a couple of polyps and stumbled across diagnosed celiac disease.

The latter knowledge has proven to be of immense value.
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Old 12-12-2012, 07:43 AM   #24
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However, their efficacy is dubious, but the cost is certain.
? To the best of my knowledge, colonoscopies are a highly efficient means of detecting problems. And the cost (to the individual) is free, at least if one is a Canadian.
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Old 12-12-2012, 09:57 AM   #25
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Had mine ~ 4 years ago at 57, clean. Now, DW was dragging feet even after her mother had ~16" of colon removed. I kept badgering, and sure enough, they removed three good sized polyps. So now I can hold this over her head (claim I saved her life!) with the time I Heimliched her in Outback. After that one she would not eat solids without me around for 2-3 days! Really!
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Old 12-12-2012, 05:27 PM   #26
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+1. Both times that I have done this, I was told to ingest some ridiculous quantity (4L, IIRC) of nauseating mixture. On both occasions I was physically unable to manage more than 2L, but after the procedures the doctor complimented me on the excellent prep. So the quantity is at least twice what is actually required, but I suppose it depends on the individual patient and they gross it up to allow for the worst cases.
I was asked what flavor I wanted and Cherry seemed the best option from the few choices offered. The pharmacy gave me a powdered drink mix along with a gallon plastic jug to mix it in. The cherry mix tasted pretty good at first. Eight 12 oz glasses later and I've noticed a distinctly greasy attribute to the cherry mix that I overlooked earlier. I managed to get about 2/3's down before it started wanting to come back up. Never again with that stuff.

The good news was that my doc also complimented me on my prep.
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Old 12-13-2012, 09:38 AM   #27
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"World-class colonoscopy"

Hey, even if the directions are followed flawlessly, there may still be some "deposits" left behind. I'm just sayin'. Next time I'm going to figure out how to add jumping jacks to the prep.

I know of one candidate who, about halfway during the prep, developed severe light-headedness, some muscle tremors (shivering), and enough nausea to vomit a little. Unfortunately this was about 9 PM when the hospital's A-team had gone to bed and the on-call "help" line had the attitude of "Stay the course, you'll be fine". About 9:30 the candidate made the decision to call the whole thing off, had a bowl of Cheerios, and by 10:30 felt much better. No idea what caused the problems, and very little interest in re-creating the sequence of events that led up to them. Maybe the prep procedure will have changed by the time they're persuaded to try again.
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Old 12-13-2012, 09:41 AM   #28
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Hey, even if the directions are followed flawlessly, there may still be some "deposits" left behind.
Did you intentionally omit the "in your"?
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Old 12-13-2012, 11:12 AM   #29
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? To the best of my knowledge, colonoscopies are a highly efficient means of detecting problems. And the cost (to the individual) is free, at least if one is a Canadian.
Well the individual pays through excessive insurance costs if the colonoscopies are done too often or if they lead to unnecessary treatments with the associated extra costs and potential medical side effects.

The current threshold for colonoscopies is 50, but from the title it looks like they are given at younger ages too. If it's a diagnostic requirement I can see it being useful, but as a routine matter it seems unnecessary and maybe even actively bad. This is a complex area of cost/benefit analysis, but it does strike me as an example of "treatment creep" that is a major issue for the excessive cost of US healthcare.

Recent studies of prostate cancer tests, treatment and outcomes indicate that it's probably best not to get tested. However, colon cancer might be different because of differences in the way it develops, but it also might not.
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Old 12-13-2012, 04:13 PM   #30
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I know of one candidate who, about halfway during the prep, developed severe light-headedness, some muscle tremors (shivering), and enough nausea to vomit a little
I can understand that. I got lightheaded Monday night doing my prep- a couple of pills and a gallon of water/prep mixture. Dr said take at least half a gallon, but it didn't seem like it was working initially, so I took the whole gallon, a glass every 10 minutes for 2.5 hrs. I also got extremely cold about half way through, but felt ok once I finished the prep
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Old 12-13-2012, 08:15 PM   #31
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Well the individual pays through excessive insurance costs if the colonoscopies are done too often or if they lead to unnecessary treatments with the associated extra costs and potential medical side effects.

The current threshold for colonoscopies is 50, but from the title it looks like they are given at younger ages too. If it's a diagnostic requirement I can see it being useful, but as a routine matter it seems unnecessary and maybe even actively bad. This is a complex area of cost/benefit analysis, but it does strike me as an example of "treatment creep" that is a major issue for the excessive cost of US healthcare.

Recent studies of prostate cancer tests, treatment and outcomes indicate that it's probably best not to get tested. However, colon cancer might be different because of differences in the way it develops, but it also might not.
It's usually only done prior to age 50 when there are certain risk factors present such as, in my case, a family history of colon cancer.

And colon cancer is generally much more problematic than prostate cancer.
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Old 12-13-2012, 08:55 PM   #32
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Yep, a bowl of Cheerios would definitely help during the prep.

The literature that came with the prep stuff listed chills and nausea as possible side effects. I read that info cuz i was too hungry and weak to do much else, lol. Hopefully, next go-round, she will get a prep that does not do that.
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Old 12-13-2012, 09:12 PM   #33
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Had my first one at age forty - my grandmother died of colon cancer. They found one polyp then - one of the potential cancer-causing kind. I'm 53 now and have had three since then. Second and third clean, then another polyp found during the fourth last year. Prep is a pain, but the worst part for me is being awakened after it's done from such a wonderful, deep sleep! But no amount of begging will convince them to let me nap there for the rest of the day! Everyone - get it done. Don't die like my grandma did. Not pretty. And in this day and age, almost totally preventable.
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Old 12-14-2012, 06:10 AM   #34
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Had my first one this summer at age 26 to confirm a diagnosis of Crohn's disease. Not bad overall though I had some syrupy, liquid prep that tasted worse than anything. Will likely have to do it periodically if my condition worsens, but for now it's manageable and we'll roll with a CT scan with contrast before doing another big procedure. Luckily TriCare covered everything completely and my out of pocket was only around $150.


Being able to give an account was helpful in convincing my dad, 52, that he needed to get his since his mom passed from colon cancer in her early 40's. He's actually going in this morning so my fingers are crossed.
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Old 12-15-2012, 12:07 AM   #35
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Did you intentionally omit the "in your"?
You really don't want me to whip out the instant replay, do you?

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Yep, a bowl of Cheerios would definitely help during the prep.
The literature that came with the prep stuff listed chills and nausea as possible side effects. I read that info cuz i was too hungry and weak to do much else, lol. Hopefully, next go-round, she will get a prep that does not do that.
Hopefully.

My prep was completely different, including simethicone to cut down on the nausea part. It tasted like greasy Gatorade but it stayed down.
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Old 12-15-2012, 04:21 AM   #36
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Had my first colonoscopy this year as I have IBS. The procedure did not bother me at all - in fact I was looking forward to it, maybe learn a thing or two.
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Old 12-15-2012, 10:14 AM   #37
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Had my first colonoscopy this year as I have IBS. The procedure did not bother me at all - in fact I was looking forward to it, maybe learn a thing or two.
Umm, you know babies aren't meant to come out that way....
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Old 12-15-2012, 10:19 AM   #38
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I agree with the non-event comments above concerning the procedure. I'm on the 5 year schedule due to family health history.

If you are a football fan, I'd suggest scheduling it for the 1st thing monday morning. That way you can move a TV in line of sight of the room where you will be spending most of Sunday afternoon.
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Old 12-15-2012, 11:53 AM   #39
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Old 12-15-2012, 01:02 PM   #40
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I had a heart scare in 2011. The ER doc ordered a CT scan (because I had severe pain in the gut in addition to atrial fibrilation). The CT scan was done immediately in the ER suite. The CT scan revealed that I had diverticula in my colon. This agreed with my colonoscopy in 2010. I also had had a couple of polyps which were excised during the colonoscopy so they did not appear in the ER CT scan. The diverticula didn't cause the pain in the gut. That turned out to be a pulled muscle.

Now I'm wondering why we need colonoscopies if CT scans can show the status of the colon? Of course, in my case, a couple of polyps were whacked during the colonoscopy. The colonoscopy doc said I could go 5 years until my next colonoscopy unless the diverticula begin to cause problems.
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