Landmark Skybox

Breeze-Courier | Taylorville, IL
Advanced Search
search sponsored by


The Weather Network
LOGIN | SUBSCRIBE






home : columns : dear harriette November 29, 2020

9/28/2020 8:42:00 AM
Readers respond to colonoscopy fears

DEAR READERS: Many of you wrote in about the man who was afraid to get a colonoscopy. I am sharing a few of your comments here. Thank you all for your caring and thoughtful comments.

DEAR HARRIETTE: I read your column today in the Bay Area News Group paper. Thank you for addressing the need for people over 50 to get colon cancer screenings and for your compassionate response.

A family member of mine waited too long to get tested. When that person finally did -- keeping in mind that one or two colon polyps can be of concern and definitely should be removed and tested for cancer -- they discovered a veritable forest of them. This person had to stay in surgery much longer than expected to try to save their life, go back again three months later to remove more, then again six months later, and finally again one year later. It worked ... they're alive today. But it was a very close call.

If people think their insurance doesn't cover the procedure, they need to ask. If the answer is that insurance doesn't, they can ask the doctor if it can be coded differently so their insurance will cover it. Or they can switch to a doctor who will, or change insurance providers so it can be. There are always options. You're right -- people are worth it.

The news of Chadwick Boseman's unexpected passing was devastating. I believe because of tragedies like these, medical professionals are starting to advocate for earlier testing, and insurance companies are starting to listen. Again, thank you for encouraging people to get tested.

DEAR SCARED (The man who originally wrote in): I was similar to you, a single male in my mid-50s. I finally gave in to my doctor and got a colonoscopy (which was fully covered by my insurance -- you or the doctor's office can check this beforehand).

The worst part is the prep ... and it's not all that bad, really! A few uncomfortable times in the bathroom, and drinking some horrible-tasting liquid. The procedure itself is a breeze. A small IV, and you go to sleep and wake up with minimal grogginess.

I was glad I did it, because they found a 4-cm polyp, and I had robotic-assisted surgery two weeks later, in which they removed an 8-inch section of small and large intestine (my appendix would have been gone if it hadn't already been removed 18 years before). Luckily, the biopsy results were great, only pre-cancerous inside the polyp itself. I just had a second colonoscopy (a year later), and everything was good. Please don't put off this procedure. It could save your life. -- Glad I Did It

DEAR HARRIETTE: Your response to "Scared" in your column today was incomplete and misleading. Since he is over 50, he surely should have a colon cancer screening, but you did him a disservice by recommending only one possible option (colonoscopy), which he had already rejected because of fear.

Here are the relevant medical guidelines: www.cdc.gov/cancer/colorectal/basic_info/screening/index.htm

Appropriate options for colon cancer screening include stool FIT tests, sigmoidoscopy and colonoscopy. A strategy using stool FIT tests is simple, sensitive and noninvasive. It would be an excellent option for someone who fears colonoscopy and whose insurance may not cover the substantial cost.

The most effective colon cancer screening is one that actually gets done. Someone who is afraid of colonoscopy should be encouraged to proceed with one of the alternative options rather than be told that they must have a test that they fear. -- Doc

Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to askharriette@harriettecole.com or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.





Article Comment Submission Form
Please feel free to submit your comments.

If you are looking for the SPEAK OUT submission form, you can find it by clicking here: Speak Out Form


Article comments are not posted immediately to the Web site. Each submission must be approved by the Web site editor, who may edit content for appropriateness. There may be a delay of 24-48 hours for any submission while the web site editor reviews and approves it.

NOTE: All information on this form is required. Your telephone number and email address will not be displayed or shared.
Submit an Article Comment
First Name:
Required
Last Name:
Required
Telephone:
Required
Email:
Required
Comment:
Required
Passcode:
Required
Anti-SPAM Passcode Click here to see a new mix of characters.
This is an anti-SPAM device. It is not case sensitive.
   









Trinity Dodge Fixed
NewsWebPagesOpinionPeopleObituariesAg & BusinessSportsContact UsLife
Subscriptions | Username & Password Reminder | Change Password | Life

Breeze-Courier & Printing | 212 S Main St. Taylorville, IL 62568 | (217) 824-2233 |
website@breezecourier.com

© Copyright 2014 Breeze-Courier & Printing. All Rights Reserved.
Original content may not be reprinted or distributed without the written permission of Breeze-Courier & Printing.

Software © 1998-2020 1up! Software, All Rights Reserved