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Why You Shouldn’t Put Off Your Colonoscopy

“Don’t rush me; I’m waiting for the last minute,” might be the mantra of the procrastinator, but it’s not a recipe for a healthy life when it comes to scheduling a colonoscopy. You may have heard all kinds of nightmare stories from friends, but that dreaded anticipation is always worse than reality. If Dr. Aaron Parrish has recommended you have one, here are real reasons why you shouldn’t put off your colonoscopy. Banish your inner procrastinator and just do make it happen!

Current Guidelines VS A Positive Screening Test

In 2018, the guidelines surrounding the age for an adult’s first colonoscopy were changed from age 50 to 45. You don’t need another one for 10 years if the test is negative and if you are at average risk for colon cancer.

The age guideline was changed because younger adults were increasingly testing positive for colon cancer. In fact, colon cancer has become the second leading cause of cancer death for both men and women.

Annual stool sample screening tests are usually conducted by your physician, and if a positive diagnosis or suspicious sample comes back, a colonoscopy is in order. Waiting too long can be dangerous for a number of reasons.

Your Chances Of Cancer Can Increase If You Wait

If you have a positive stool sample, how long you wait to have your colonoscopy affects your risk of developing cancer. It is not an emergency and it’s OK to wait a short time, but you should schedule your procedure as soon as you can practically arrange it – whether it’s a first screening or an updated one.

You should have your colonoscopy within 10 months, and sooner is better. Waiting that long increases your risk by 50%, and the chance of being diagnosed with an advanced stage can increase 2 to 3 times. Don’t delay.

A Colonoscopy Finds Suspicious Polyps

During a colonoscopy, suspicious pre-cancerous polyps are found and can be removed immediately before they can grow into cancer. You are essentially treated on the spot.

A Colonoscopy Prevents Cancer

During a colonoscopy, cancerous polyps can be caught at an early stage when survival rates are the highest. The 5 year survival rate is 90%. It is the only screening that can detect AND prevent cancer.

It’s Not As Bad As You Think

The prep-solutions used to totally empty your bowels have improved drastically. Ask Dr. Parrish what your choices are. The procedure itself only takes about 30 – 40 minutes, and you will be given sedation so you are completely comfortable.

Contact Aaron B. Parrish, MD today to schedule your colonoscopy.