I have a family history of colon cancer (mother/grandmother) and have had on colonoscopy and need another. It's been 4 years and I have a few symptoms but can't pull myself to get another, too freaked out. I believe that it was the worst thing I've ever went thru. How accurate are those hemmocult tests in predicting C.C. I think I can make myself take one of those. Thanks in advance, new poster here.
Get that colonoscopy scheduled!!!! With your family history it is vital that you get scoped every year or two. A hemoccult test only tests for the presence of blood in the stool which could be caused by hemorrhoids, benign polyps or cancer. There is no way of determining the source without a colonoscopy. Also some tumors only bleed intermittently, so you can have several clear hemoccult smears that just happened to have been done on non-microscopic bleeding days. Particularly with a family history it is important to get a colonoscopy rather than a sigmoidoscopy since many inherited colon cancers are in the ascending colon, which a sigmoidoscope does not reach.
A colonoscopy does not have to be painful. It is usually done with conscious sedation so that you don't feel or remember anything about the procedure. The hardest part is the preparation the day prior to the test; and believe me undergoing one day of discomfort is far better than tolerating the side effects of six months of chemotherapy. Also, by having frequent colonoscopies, polyps can be removed during the procedure, thus preventing them from ever becoming cancerous.
This is one of those things you may not want to do, but you have to grit your teeth and just do it!
Let me echo Leslie's comments.......everything said was 100% correct. A small inconvenience to withstand in relation to the benefits it brings. If nothing else, remember CC is one disease that can be found and eliminated before you have to wonder about a cure! Get the Test! Get the Polyp( if any)! Get the CURE!! Here's hoping for a clear scoping!!
Thanks for the words of encouragement folks but I wish it was that easy. I have mental problems and a total aversion to doctors,I was traumatized as a child and have never been able to get over it. But I KNOW I need to go and maybe I will before it's too late. That's why I was trying to take the easy way out and try the hemmocult test. The wife has been working on me but to no avail yet.
PLEASE PLEASE go get that colonoscopy!! I had one on Feb 25th and had a polyp too large to remove during the colonoscopy and had to have a resection March 21st. It was the first stage of cancer!! What if i had not gone to have the colonoscopy? It was caught in time... there is probably nothing wrong with you, but please go just as a precaution. I had not been in years and years and wish i had gone sooner. My dad had colon cancer and I too, put the colonoscopy off. Tell the doctor how afraid you are and I am sure he can help you with that too! Do this for not just you, but for your family. I am going to be fine now because I caught it in time. There are worse things than having a colonoscopy done, believe me! Please go!! I will be glad to help you in any way I can.
norton, I was supposed to have a colonoscopy 5 tears after my first one. I didn't and a few years after that I ended up with CC and I now have a permanent colostomy.
You may have an aversion to doctors but think about how many you will have to deal with if you let things go and you do develop cancer. I was in hospital for two surgeries and the last one involved a 10 day stay.
If you compare major surgery and 10 days in hospital to an hour and light sedation that may help you decide to have the colonoscopy.
I know what you are saying, but after what my mother went thru after she found out she had CC I think it would be better to just refuse the treatment altogther. I still haven't got up the nerve to go yet, but thanks for sharing your story with me and for your advise. I can tell you are all caring people on this site and I appreciate it.
Norton, the difference between your mother and you is that you do NOT have cancer yet. By removing any polyps during regular colonoscopies you can basically Prevent cancer from getting a hold and not have to go through what your mom did with colon cancer.
I don't know what your financial situation is, but it is possible that a few sessions with a trained hypnotist/therapist may help you relax enough to get in for the procedure.
It would be worth it!
You can also get anti-anxiety medicine to help you in the weeks before. Explain your previous trauma/abuse to the MD and I am certain you will be prescribed something. It is SO important that you get this done. I am now 33. I began bleeding when I was 28 and was told that the rectal bleeding I was having was due to hemmorhoids, etc. by my Internal Medicine doctor. To make a long story short, the bleeding got worse and by the time I turned 31 it got bad enough for me to self refer to a gastroenterologist. I was scoped and they found a golf ball sized tumor... Stage 3C Adenocarcinoma. As JD says, imagine the time you will spend with physicians if you put this off... aint that the truth. I can't begin to tell you what I have been through.
In any event, if you had a bad experience the first time, you were with the wrong gastroenterologist, or had a sigmoidoscopy where they don't medicate. Your gastro can even put you out completely (still with conscious sedation, so no intubation is required) with propofol. It's a great drug. Or, you can have the standard narcotic/quick acting anti-anxiety (midazolam) which helps you forget the experience.
My wife was abused and has had a colonoscopy. I know how tough it can be. But if you get the medication ahead of time, this is something YOU CAN DO.
The last colonoscopy I had I was awake during the whole procedure. Although I know that I do not remember much of it at all. I was watching the screen that shows what the camera sees when I suddenly realized that it was moving backwards, he was pulling out. I watched the whole thing but recall only that moment. I don't exactly remember going to the post-op but I know I was awake and talking to the orderly.
,,,,,,,,,, and I wanted to see what was happening!!