The year to forget, 2020, is now behind us. After getting through that year, we all have the opportunity to move into 2021 and make it a great year. One thing to put on your “to-do” list for 2021, and make it a priority, is to get your colon cancer screening.
As you know, the “gold standard” for screening for colon cancer is a colonoscopy. The benefit of the colonoscopy is that it will actually allow the removal of any cancerous or pre-cancerous polyps. Other methods, such as FOBT and Cologuard, can only detect cancer. If there is a positive finding with one of these tests, you will then need to schedule a diagnostic colonoscopy so that the cancer can be identified. Many times, these tests result in false positives, and there are no abnormalities found with the diagnostic colonoscopy.
One of the biggest concerns that prevents patients from using the “gold standard” for their screening, a colonoscopy, is the bowel prep. There is an unsubstantiated fear of the bowel prep because over the past few years there has been development of new colonoscopy bowel prep products that taste good and that require much less drinking of fluids. In 2021, you’ll see the introduction of tablet-based bowel prep kits that only require drinking glasses of water with the bowel prep tablets.
The author can witness to the improved bowel prep methods. My recent experience with preparing for my screening colonoscopy was so much better than in the past when I had to consume large amounts of fluids. The bowel prep was a small bottle that I drank slowly and it actually tasted pretty good. Then I had to drink several glasses of water, but it was all easy and not a problem. Polyps were removed that may have developed into colon cancer had I not had this colonoscopy performed. It is worth the small effort to prep to know that I am cancer free.
So, let’s check off the one item that you can control in 2021, getting your colon cancer screening completed. Have your primary care physician send you to the Blair Gastro Colon Cancer Screening Center for a thorough determination of the best option for you for your colon cancer screening. Our providers may suggest an FOBT, Cologuard, or the “gold standard” screening colonoscopy. You can also call yourself to schedule an appointment at one of our three offices located in Altoona, Bedford and Ebensburg.