Let’s face it, colonoscopies are a pain in the butt.  Well, not really; the procedure itself takes place under sedation so you feel nothing during the examination.  What is inconvenient about a colonoscopy is the prep work.  The idea of drinking an unappealing liquid that induces diarrhea, something we spend the rest of our lives trying to avoid, all so that someone can thread a long tube into your colon.   It seems both ridiculous and excessive.  Yet it can be a lifesaver.

There’s certainly no prize for hitting 50.  Instead, sometimes, Mother Nature hits us with colorectal cancer.

The Benefits of Early Detection

When detected early, colorectal cancer is highly treatable and curable.  Since most cancers of the colon begin as non-cancerous polyps, if you schedule your colonoscopy, you allow your physician to examine your colon and remove the polyps before they become malignant.  According to a study by the National Cancer Institute which followed 120,000 patients diagnosed between 1991 and 2000 with colorectal cancer, those diagnosed in the earliest stage of cancer colorectal cancer had a 93 percent survivability rate five years after diagnosis.

Those of us who live in the Pittsburgh area are blessed to have numerous excellent hospitals, medical facilities, and physicians to choose from when in need of a colonoscopy.  You’ll be trading a few hours of inconvenience, for the assurance of a clean bill of health.

To show you how easy it is to have a colonoscopy, why not take a couple of minutes to watch Katie Couric having a colonoscopy done.  Katie has made it her mission to raise awareness of colon cancer after she lost her husband to this disease. It really is treatable if it is caught in the early stages and it is even preventable if you catch the polyps early.

What Would You Miss?

Let’s imagine that you neglected to take care of your colon and died.  What would you have missed out on enjoying?  Besides all those special family events, the Steelers have won two Super Bowls and the Penguins have won a Stanley Cup.  Surely, those milestones alone were worth being present for, not to mention all those tailgate parties that accompanied them and the pounds of kielbasa and vats of nacho cheese you’d have missed out on eating.

But you already know that having a colonoscopy is a sensible thing to do.  Assuming you have insurance, why haven’t you had a colonoscopy yet?  Perhaps you need another reason to persuade you?  I don’t know how anything other than preserving your life could induce you to take charge of your health and have a colonoscopy, but in case you do, here are some “off-the-wall” reasons that may spur you to do so.

The Top 10 Reasons for Having a Colonoscopy

  • 1. You may lose weight.  Surely, purging your pipes will show up as some sort of weight loss on the scale.
  • 2. You’ll feel like a movie star.  You’ve heard all about those Hollywood stars who undergo a colonic, to purge the body of waste.  Now you can have the “star treatment” too and you won’t have to worry about ending up on the cover of a tabloid.
  • 3. You’ll own the throne.  Tired of having to wait to use the bathroom? While you are prepping for your colonoscopy, no one will be able to use (or want to use) the bathroom but you.
  • 4. You may wind up with a TV show.  You will master the art of consuming unpalatable liquids thereby qualifying you for your own show on the Travel Channel that features eating inedible food and drinks.
  • 5. You’ll get to take a nap.  Come on, you know you’re tired.  Admit it, doesn’t donning a comfy little backless nightgown and curling up with a nice sedative sound inviting?
  • 6. You can trot out your best bathroom humor.  We know you’re usually too sophisticated to engage in potty humor, but who can resist telling the friends at work when they ask how the colonoscopy went, that “I’m a bit tired.  I’m all pooped out?”
  • 7. You can claim that you were under sedation when you call your physician a ‘hoser.’  Just because your physician has an advanced degree from an outstanding medical institution doesn’t mean you can’t adopt your best Canadian accent a la the McKenzie Brothers from Second City and dis your doc with a little north-of-the-border jab.
  • 8. You can garner sympathy.  While the rest of your family or friends are scarfing down mega quantities of food, you can make puppy dog eyes and mope inviting sympathy, and more importantly cash and gifts.
  • 9. You can feel superior.  When your friends neglect to schedule their own colonoscopies, you can self-righteously lecture them.
  • 10. You can eat double the amount.  After the colonoscopy, you can make up for the lost meals by eating twice as much.  Pull that chair up to the buffet table and begin shoveling it in!

A colonoscopy isn’t the most pleasurable thing, but it can prolong your life and ensure time for enjoying all those things you’d never want to miss.