5 Common Reasons People Give To Not Do A Colonoscopy
1. "It's troublesome"
Colonoscopy requires bowel cleansing preparation on the day before the procedure. There are two components for the bowel cleansing: Diet restriction & Bowel cleansing medications. You have to avoid taking food high in fibre content such as vegetables, fruits, wholemeal 3 days before the procedure. Can I still eat then? The answer is yes. You can have carbo (rice, noodles, potatoes) and protein (chicken, beef, fish) in your meals as usual, just remember NO fibre so that doctors can have a clear view and thorough check during the procedure.
In addition, you have to take the bowel cleansing medications (Bisacodyl tablets + 2 Litre Fortrans solution) on the day before the procedure. That’s right, you are expected to complete the 2L solutions and it’s to be taken after dinner. You are strongly encouraged to stay at home for the ‘induced diarrhea’ and also to rest well for the procedure the next day.
The colonoscopy usually takes about 30 minutes to an hour, and the whole admission takes about 3 to 4 hours. You will be issued Hospitalization Leave on the day of procedure. By evening, you should be feeling fine and all ready for work and usual activities the next day. Speak to us to get more information.
2. "It's expensive"
The bill of a colonoscopy is made up of doctor’s fee and facility fee. The facility fee is because this procedure is to be done in a specialized endoscopy centre. Besides the procedure room where the endoscopic equipment are, a bed/room will be provided for you to rest after the procedure. You will be informed of the estimated facility fee when you go for a financial counselling.
Doctor’s fee is based on what was done during the colonoscopy. If the colonosocpy was normal and no added procedure was required, this is a basic colonosocpy. If, however, additional procedures were needed due to some abnormalities that were found, the Doctor’s fee becomes higher. Examples of added procedures include the removal of polyps (polypectomy) or the treatment of piles. As such the doctor’s fee in Nexus Surgical could range from $1200-$2000 for a colonoscopy.
3. "It's scary"
It’s pretty common to feel afraid of what’s not known to you. As a human being, we tend to be driven by emotion and we form an impression of a particular event that has not even happen. This can be seen in some patients who are unsure of proceeding for colonoscopy. The preconceived thought of uneasiness can sometimes deter them for going for a procedure that is proven to be beneficial.
The preparation for colonoscopy is not that bad as what you had heard or imagined. The taste of the bowel cleansing is unpleasant, but it’s tolerable with the help of sweetened drinks like orange juice, honey, Ribena, etc. Not only that, you are going to be put into gentle sleep (sedated) where you should not be experiencing any pain or discomfort during the procedure. So don’t be paralysed by your fear or anxiety.
One way of easing out the worried mind is to gather all the facts and information of the procedure, knowing how’s the procedure is done and what to expect before and after the procedure.
By being well-informed, you can remove any unfounded anxiety and overcome your fear, so it won’t be so scary.
4. "I don't need that, I don't have symptoms"
If you think that colonoscopy is only applicable for people who has symptoms, then that’s a common myth that you need to remove. Colon cancer, especially in the early stages, has no symptoms. When symptoms occur, the colon cancer may already be in an advanced stage. The more advanced the cancer is, the poorer is the outcome. Also the treatment for advanced cancer is usually more complicated and hence more expensive. On the other hand, with a colonoscopy, we can potentially prevent colon cancer by detecting polyps and removing them, thereby preventing them from developing into colon cancer.
The risk of getting colorectal cancer increased significantly at around age of 60, hence it’s important to urge your loved one to go for screening starting at age 50 years old, even when there are no symptoms. Recent publications also showed that there is an increasing trend of the occurrence in the younger group. The common symptoms are change in bowel habits, bleeding or mucus in the stool, extreme tiredness or unintentional weight loss. The best way to beat cancer is to catch it early or even prevent it from developing.
5. "It's good not to know"
A study in 2013 showed that about 45% of the people feel that “Such things are fated”. Colorectal cancer does not grow overnight. It starts as a small polyp, a small growth on the inside wall of the intestine. Over time this growth will become larger and eventually turn cancerous. The early detection and removal of such polyp is a good way to prevent colorectal cancer.
Don’t let fate control your destiny. Colorectal cancer is a disease that can be prevented. The only thing in your way is your own fear. Don’t allow your fear to compromise your health.
Give a gentle nudge to your loved one if they have not undergo any colonoscopy screening for colorectal cancer.