With the statistics for colon cancer among younger people becoming more alarming by the minute, it is important to have yourself tested. Doctors are recommending that people start getting tested as early as 40 years old. Colon cancer is becoming more prevalent in the younger generation.
To be tested for colon cancer you might have to undergo a colonoscopy. A colonoscopy is by no means a very pleasant procedure to have done, but if it is necessary it is a good idea to be prepared for what will happen. Here is a guide as to what you can expect from a colonoscopy.
Why would I need a colonoscopy?
A doctor may order a colonoscopy for you because he feels the need to examine your bowels from the inside. He may suspect that you may have any of the following: growths, polyps, ulcers, internal bleeding, inflammation, muscle spasm or tumours. Your doctor may also be looking for early signs of cancer in the colon or rectum. Your doctor will achieve this by inserting a colonoscope into your rectum and maneuvering it up through your colon all the way to the end of your small intestines. The doctor can then get a good look at any abnormalities in your large intestines.
What is the procedure for a colonoscopy?
For the colonoscopy, you will lie down on your left side. It is usual for some pain medication and a mild sedative to be administered. These medicines will help you relax. The doctor will push a long flexible tube that has a light on the end into your rectum and maneuver it through your rectum into your colon. This apparatus is called a colonoscope. The colonoscope has a tiny camera at its tip as well, and the doctor can observe what he is doing on a television monitor. He may ask you to move so that he can move the apparatus to examine everything. Air is also blown out of the colonoscope in order to inflate the colon so that your doctor can get a better look.
If your doctor finds anything that he deems unusual, or that needs further examination, he can also take biopsy samples using tiny instruments in the colonoscope. A biopsy is a sample of tissue that will be sent away to the laboratory for further study.
The procedure takes about 30 to 60 minutes, and you will probably be kept at the office, or day hospital for a few more hours until the sedatives wear off. You can then go home, and you should be fine to return to normal activities the next day.
How do I prepare for a colonoscopy?
There is not much preparation except that you will probably need to have empty bowels. This is achieved by staying on a liquid diet for 1 to 3 days before the colonoscopy, and you may by asked to take some laxatives or and enema before the procedure. Your doctor may also have special instructions for you to follow.
To help avoid colon cancer, keep your colon clean with the EasySquat.
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