My name is Lilith Maclin and if you suffer from a digestive disorder, you can find a wealth of information about this type of medical condition in my blog. Three years ago, my husband was having severe stomach cramps and his doctor told him that he had a digestive disorder called ulcerative colitis. After my husband was diagnosed, I did thorough research to learn how to control and manage this disorder. We kept track of everything that my husband ate and when a certain food caused a flare-up of his condition, he eliminated that food from his diet. By learning all we could about this digestive disorder, my husband has been able to live pain free. If you want more information about this disorder and how to manage it, you can find it here by reading my blog.
There is nothing to be embarrassed about or ashamed of; everyone needs to get screened for colon cancer just to be safe. Once adults hit the age of 50, it is recommended that colonoscopies become a routine part of testing to those at a normal risk of colon cancer. Knowing what the procedure entails may help keep you at ease before your next testing.
Before the Procedure
Doctors will schedule the colonoscopy about a week in advance and will give you a strict dietary guideline to follow in the days prior to the procedure. This diet consists of liquid food only, such as tea, juice, broth, or flavored ice pops. Your doctor may also prescribe medication to help with elimination to ensure an empty colon before the procedure. This step is crucial because it will help to prepare your colon for the procedure and could skew the results if neglected.
During the Procedure
The doctor should put you on a pain medicine or sedative prior to the test, so you may not remember much afterward. You will be positioned on your side with your knees hugged to your chest while the doctor inserts a thin, flexible scope into the rectum. You may feel slight discomfort, the urge to produce a bowel movement, or pass some gas. All of these reactions are completely normal and nothing to be embarrassed about. The entire procedure should take less than an hour.
After the Procedure
After your medications wear off, you may feel bloated and have cramps. In addition, there may be blood in your stool due to the doctor taking a biopsy of the colon. Other than that, you should feel completely back to normal in a few days. Test results may be normal, showing that your colon was smooth and pink with no lesions present. If the procedure showed hemorrhoids, which is the most common cause of blood in the stool, further testing may be needed.
Getting tested for colon cancer is important for all adults, because if it is caught early, it can be treated. Those who are at a higher risk for the disease, such as those with a family history, those of African American decent, or those with a history of inflammatory intestinal conditions, should especially get tested. Knowing how to prepare and what to expect for your next colon cancer screening will help to make the process easier and reduce the associated stress.