call from health insurance about colon cancer screening

Positive on the Cologuard test & so had the real thing a few weeks later last year.

Couple of polyps...one large enough that I come back in 3 years, no cancer.

I did need Zofran pushed into my IV after waking up.

No out of pocket expense on employer health insurance (through spouse) for either.
 
I'm on a 5 year plan. Doctor told me colon cancer is the most preventable type of cancer because it tends to grow very slowly and detection is very effective with a scope. I trust his word. Get it done and check one more worry off your list.
 
I was 42 when I had a sigmoidoscopy on Tuesday and my doc said he would like to do a whole colonoscopy. I said, "When?" He said, "Friday."
He found a large polyp that had to be cut in half to get it out of me. He was 90% sure the cancer was fully contained in the polyp. I asked how to be 100% sure...and we scheduled a colon resection to remove part of my colon above and below the polyp. I was clean.
After that, I found out about the number of my male relatives who died of colon cancer in my family. I was lucky. No chemo...no radiation...that was 32 years ago.
 
I was 42 when I had a sigmoidoscopy on Tuesday and my doc said he would like to do a whole colonoscopy. I said, "When?" He said, "Friday."
He found a large polyp that had to be cut in half to get it out of me. He was 90% sure the cancer was fully contained in the polyp. I asked how to be 100% sure...and we scheduled a colon resection to remove part of my colon above and below the polyp. I was clean.
After that, I found out about the number of my male relatives who died of colon cancer in my family. I was lucky. No chemo...no radiation...that was 32 years ago.
What a great story and outcome. Thanks for sharing. Colon cancer is quite insidious. Early detection is worth the hassles of colonoscopy.
 
Colon cancer kills a heck of a lot of people, so I didn't want to ignore the risk but also didn't want to undergo the prep and invasiveness of a colonoscopy, so I did the Cologuard test. Super-easy, the instructions were clear and simple, then I dropped it off at the local UPS store or could have scheduled a pick-up. They e-mailed results back within a week. Couldn't be simpler, easier or less invasive.
 
I’ve had 2 colonoscopies in the past 20 years. The last one 2 years ago found 5 polyps but none were the type that cause cancer. 40% of polyps are cancerous. I’m trying to balance that with the issue of possibly getting a perforated colon as your tissue thins with age. Most people don’t survive if that happens.

They want me to get another one next year at age 70. I might do one more before age 75 but haven’t decided. If you have hemorrhoids you can’t do the mail in testing as they look for blood in your stool and hemorrhoids bleed sometimes.
 
I’ve had 2 colonoscopies in the past 20 years. The last one 2 years ago found 5 polyps but none were the type that cause cancer. 40% of polyps are cancerous. I’m trying to balance that with the issue of possibly getting a perforated colon as your tissue thins with age. Most people don’t survive if that happens.
I know- that's a concern for me, too. I'm 71 and due next year. I'll probably go for it and ask the doc what he thinks about the vulnerability of my intestinal walls and how that might affect future testing. Will also check and see if Medicare covers beyond a certain age. I think I've seen postings in retirement-related posts on FB that they may not because the risks outweigh the benefits. If I get to a point where they're too risky I still plan to do the at-home test and maybe Cologuard to see if there are indications of serious issues.
 
Colon cancer kills a heck of a lot of people, so I didn't want to ignore the risk but also didn't want to undergo the prep and invasiveness of a colonoscopy, so I did the Cologuard test. Super-easy, the instructions were clear and simple, then I dropped it off at the local UPS store or could have scheduled a pick-up. They e-mailed results back within a week. Couldn't be simpler, easier or less invasive.
I actually had an "issue" with getting my results a little over a year ago. IIRC I had to sign into a site similar to "My Chart" or one of the clinic-type communication hubs. I had to relay my results to my doctor. Not sure if I was somehow at fault in this or if there was a glitch.

My concern with Cologuard is that it (apparently) doesn't detect that one has polyps (I had 10 adenomas removed a year after Cologuard said I was at least risk for colon cancer.) YMMV
 
My concern with Cologuard is that it (apparently) doesn't detect that one has polyps (I had 10 adenomas removed a year after Cologuard said I was at least risk for colon cancer.) YMMV
Thanks- good to know. I had read that it wasn't recommended for people with a history of polyps but thought it might be a good screening tool for me if a colonoscopy was too risky. Maybe not. And it still requires the same prep as a colonoscopy.
 
Thanks- good to know. I had read that it wasn't recommended for people with a history of polyps but thought it might be a good screening tool for me if a colonoscopy was too risky. Maybe not. And it still requires the same prep as a colonoscopy.
Yeah, what was strange in my situation was that I started Colonoscopies at 50 and after my 3rd one, PCP and I decided I didn't need any more but PCP would have me do occult blood samples each year. THAT's when I asked for Cologuard instead of occult blood. Results were "fine" so I figured I was good for life (age 76.) BUT PCP still insisted on occult blood which then sent me for colonoscopy to find my very first (10) polyps. SO, point is, colonoscopy is STILL the gold standard. I don't know enough and am not a doctor, but MY unprofessional suggestion would be to skip Cologuard and go for the gold - but YMMV.
 
I don't know enough and am not a doctor, but MY unprofessional suggestion would be to skip Cologuard and go for the gold - but YMMV.
I'm going to keep having them as long as the doc thinks the benefits outweigh the risks. If Medicare no longer pays I'm likely to pay OOP. One of the little luxuries I can afford thanks to over-saving for retirement. :)
 
Cologuard catches bleeding from a polyp but has no way to catch where in the colon it - and others - exist. So as Koolau said, just go for the colonoscopy. The prep is the worst part of the whole deal.
 
Cologuard does detect non-bleeding polyps, not just cancer. I have been having Cologuard every 3 years, and so has my husband. Personal close friends and parents have died or nearly died from perforated colon from colonoscopy, so we don't want to have one unless we feel that it is necessary.

I promised myself that I would have one colonoscopy done in my 60s, so I had it done last month. I had a sigmoidoscopy done when I was 45 and the prep was extremely stressful then, but the new prep has gotten much easier. Anyway, I didn't have any polyps and was asked to come back in 10 years.

My husband who was more adament than me that he would never want to have a colonoscopy unless Cologuard came back positive. Well, Cologuard came back positive for him a couple of months ago. At 76, he was quite worried about perforation due to close friends having died or nearly died from it. After much discussion with our GI doctor, he had his colonoscopy done on the same morning as mine. He had 7 polyps, none cancerous and was told to come back for another one in 5 years. We had a long discussion, and agreed that it depends on his health then - he is very robust and healthy right now, whether he has symptoms and what Cologuard test comes back with then. At 81, if he is just as healthy/robust as now and Cologuard comes back as positive, he will have another colonscopy, otherwise he will not.

For me, I am likely to be done with colonoscopy unless Cologuard tells me otherwise in several years' time.
 
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We simply follow the advice of our respective physicians.
 
As I recall a relative had colon cancer with zero polyps.

I searched and found it really can be a thing since I didn't trust my memory. Hereditary Nonpolyposis Colorectal Cancer (HNPCC).

I can't say for certain it was of this type as they are no longer here to ask and I don't know if there are other types that could be similar.
 
Personal close friends and parents have died or nearly died from perforated colon from colonoscopy, so we don't want to have one unless we feel that it is necessary.

At 76, he was quite worried about perforation due to close friends having died or nearly died from it.
I did a quick search because of your post AND because I'm getting a colonoscopy in three weeks. :facepalm:

I found this site: Adverse events related to colonoscopy: Global trends and future challenges - which places the risk as high as about 0.085%.
"The perforation rate, as reported in large studies (≥ 50,000 colonoscopies) published since 2000, ranges from 0.005-0.085%." That's a big range.

So take "worst case" of .85 incidents per 1000 or 8.5 incidents per 10,000. I am surprised at the spread in the study and why the incidence would not be more consistent. BUT, even at worst, it's a lot better odds than NOT detecting colon cancer. By the time you have symptoms of colon cancer, survival rate is rather low.

Compared to the risk of Colon cancer, I'll take my chances though I understand the potential danger of Colonoscopy. Clearly, YMMV.
 
I did a quick search because of your post AND because I'm getting a colonoscopy in three weeks. :facepalm:

I found this site: Adverse events related to colonoscopy: Global trends and future challenges - which places the risk as high as about 0.085%.
"The perforation rate, as reported in large studies (≥ 50,000 colonoscopies) published since 2000, ranges from 0.005-0.085%." That's a big range.

So take "worst case" of .85 incidents per 1000 or 8.5 incidents per 10,000. I am surprised at the spread in the study and why the incidence would not be more consistent. BUT, even at worst, it's a lot better odds than NOT detecting colon cancer. By the time you have symptoms of colon cancer, survival rate is rather low.

Compared to the risk of Colon cancer, I'll take my chances though I understand the potential danger of Colonoscopy. Clearly, YMMV.
Hence Cologuard tests for people with normal risks, i.e. no relatives having colon cancer, no prior polyps and no symptoms. Cologuard doesn't only catch those with colon cancer, but also non-bleeding and non-cancerous polyps.
 
Hence Cologuard tests for people with normal risks, i.e. no relatives having colon cancer, no prior polyps and no symptoms. Cologuard doesn't only catch those with colon cancer, but also non-bleeding and non-cancerous polyps.
Cologuard missed my 10 non-bleeding and non-cancerous polyps. YMMV
 
In my husband's case, it came back positive and hence he had a colonoscopy and found to have 7 non-cancerous polyps.
So glad it w*rked for your DH.

I was ready to "quit" because of my Cologuard results but PCP said "no." DO the occult blood. Glad I did. YMMV

Heh, heh, wish me luck on my upcoming colonoscopy one year post removal of 10 adenomas. :cool:
 
Wow, I guess I'll have to start weighing the risks of colonoscopy more closely now that I'm old.r

I have a 30yr history of inflammatory bowel disease. Collonoscopy every three years.
My IBD never went into remission until recently with Renflexis infusions.
But no polyps were found till last month.

Large precancerous polyp removed. Doc now tells me every two years, "forever". Not thrilled but will probably comply.

Colon cancer is a pretty awful disease I understand.
 
My cousin (an MD!) died of colon cancer in his early 50's. It was an ugly way to go. My older brother had polyps at his first colonoscopy so when I had my first at age 50, I wasn't surprised that I too had polyps. Since then I've had polyps every colonoscopy and have been on either a 3 or 5 year schedule. Last year when I had my most recent one, I asked the G.I. doctor doing it about aging and risk of perforation. He smiled wryly and said with your history of polyps, it would be too soon to end the colonoscopies. I have trusted this guy for over 20 years and I'll follow his guidance. My main worry is he might retire in a few years. I suspect the variation in perforation rates may depend on global quality of healthcare and competence of the doctor doing it. I also like that the facility my G.I. doc uses is just across the street from a major teaching hospital in Phoenix.

IMHO, everyone should have an initial baseline colonoscopy when they reach age 45. If no polyps, then you're good to go typically for 10 years, plenty of time to decide what to do next time. On Medicare with G supplement, all my colonoscopies have been covered apart from the annual Medicare deductible.
 
I did a quick search because of your post AND because I'm getting a colonoscopy in three weeks. :facepalm:

I found this site: Adverse events related to colonoscopy: Global trends and future challenges - which places the risk as high as about 0.085%.
"The perforation rate, as reported in large studies (≥ 50,000 colonoscopies) published since 2000, ranges from 0.005-0.085%." That's a big range.

So take "worst case" of .85 incidents per 1000 or 8.5 incidents per 10,000. I am surprised at the spread in the study and why the incidence would not be more consistent. BUT, even at worst, it's a lot better odds than NOT detecting colon cancer. By the time you have symptoms of colon cancer, survival rate is rather low.

Compared to the risk of Colon cancer, I'll take my chances though I understand the potential danger of Colonoscopy. Clearly, YMMV.
UPDATE:

I found a more complete source that accounts for differences based on age at time of colonoscopy.

The bottom line (pardon the expression ;)): After age 75, the perforation rate goes up substantially. Still, the rate is relatively small and most folks over 75 who require a colonoscopy are already at a higher rate of colon cancer based on previous colonoscopies. In fact, my PCP told me I was done with colonoscopies when I was 74 - then he found occult blood. SO as far as "screening" colonoscopy goes, most older folks with no history of polyps don't get colonoscopies (according to my PCP so YMMV.)

Here is the site: https://www.giejournal.org/article/S0016-5107(07)01297-7/abstract

I wonder if the higher rates at advanced ages is because polyps are more statistically likely at older ages. Removal of polyps is more likely (I think?) to cause perforation. I'm spitballing here, so YMMV.

The rates were pretty much 0.0 until after 75 when the rates were on the order of 0.27% to 0.38% (with ages between about 75 and 89.)

Once again, you have to w*rk with your doctor to determine risk vs benefit. I can't imagine a doctor would advise colonoscopy if the benefit didn't out weigh the risk but, again, YMMV.
 
Get it done.
Had my first colonoscopy at 50.
No history.
Two (non cancerous) polyps removed and put on a 5 year check.
The new drugs are great, just a long nap 😴
The prep… 😩
well it is what it is. 😂
 
Even with a Bronze HSA plan, your first (and maybe more) colonoscopy should be covered 100% by the insurance company.

When I was 50, I had my first colonoscopy instead of using the at home test. Yes, the at home test is cheaper, and yes, there is no chance of a colon perforation. But a colonoscopy is, as I understand it, more thorough and more accurate, so a lower chance of a false positive or a false negative. Also, in certain cases if you do the at home test, you'll need a follow up colonoscopy anyway. If you ask a doctor they will probably say a colonoscopy is the gold standard and the at home test is better than nothing.

I had a single adenomatous polyp that was removed and so I am on the "5 year plan" although recent recommendation changes mean I might be on the "7 year plan".

I think I'll get one this year and definitely plan to go the colonoscopy route again. My insurance company says they'll pay for it 100% again if the doctor codes it as screening, and the colonoscopy place says that's how they'll code it.

Even if I had to pay for it myself, the peace of mind and the reduction in risk would be worth 100% OOP to me. Get one every five years from 50 to 75, and even if they're $3K apiece that's $25K if insurance only pays for the first one. That's half a new car.

The prep is not bad at all in my opinion and the colonoscopy itself is a way to get a really good nap.
Not necessarily true. My wife is a colon (liver, lung) cancer survivor. Dr told that our kids should start doing colonoscopy at age 40 vs. at age 50. They did and inside not cover it! Depende on the insurance, I guess.

However, do get it done. Colon cancer is a silent killer and it is on drastic rise in the USA. Maybe more awareness or cologuard availability.
 
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