Because I had to be up by 5:30 this morning to continue the preparation that began last evening for my colonoscopy this morning, I decided to watch yesterday’s evening news on my iPad. Imagine my surprise when one of the later segments concerned a new test for colorectal cancer! “What synchronicity,” I thought! The story was about a woman who had reached the age of 50 and knew she should have a colonoscopy but put it off because of the gruesome tales she had heard about the preparation. Recently she discovered that there was a new test (Cologuard – $649) that can be done at home. She opted for that and the test indicated that she did, indeed, have cancer. At that point she had a colonoscopy and the diagnosis was confirmed. The test had saved her life.
As I drink the last of the preparation solution, I think back to my intention to have my first colonoscopy at age 50. I really did plan to do it to do it and I’m not certain what intervened but I never got to actually have it until I was 53. At that point I had 7 “advanced” (pre-cancerous) polyps – a sure bet that without the test I would have been dead by now of colon cancer without having had any external indicators until it was too late. Having done the procedure now more often than most, I am blessed that, while unpleasant, it is not very difficult for me. Even if it were, however, I know from experience that it is certainly preferable to the alternatives.
I am not ordinarily a vocal champion of causes but in this case I often urge people I know to “just do it” as it might save their lives. Thus, whether you opt for the new or traditional form of the test, please do it! Take it from one who knows: it’s worth the effort!