The word alone can strike fear into even the toughest men.
But Dr. Jeevan Vinod, director of Inflammatory Bowel Disease for CarePoint Health, says once you get past the “you’re-going-to-put-what … where?” moment, it’s not so bad.
Heck, talk show host Katie Couric had one live on the Today Show years ago.
“What patients tend to be most apprehensive about, truthfully, is the preparation that goes into the colonoscopy,” said Vinod, who is urging men and women to get a colorectal screening when they turn 50.
With March recognized as Colon Cancer Awareness month, Vinod is aiming to make men and women more aware of the risks of not getting screened.
Colorectal cancer was the third-leading cause of cancer-related deaths in this country last year, with more than 26,000 people succumbing to it.
“It’s a well documented fact that early and timely screening can prevent the development of colon cancer, and also the importance of timely screening is that the survival rate of colon cancer begins to decrease as the cancer becomes more advanced,” said Vinod. “For these reasons we certainly recommend timely and regular screenings for colon cancer.”
Vinod said African-Americans are an at-risk group when it comes to colon cancer, and should start screening around 45 years of age.
The doctor added that everyone should ask their gastroenterologist about early screening, especially individuals with a family history of the disease or of colon polyps.
According to the Colon Cancer Alliance, the average person’s chance of developing colon cancer is about 1 in 20, and people who have a parent or sibling with the disease are two to three times more at risk.
Vinod says that the colonoscopy procedure is usually short, painless, and without incident. The doctor also said that recent technological advances have made screening preparations, such as cleansing, a less difficult and involved process.
“Over the past five years, the preparation has increased significantly to make it a lot more comfortable for patients to adequately cleanse their colon prior to their procedure.”