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5 Important Points to Make When Pushing Your Significant Other To Get Screened For Colon Cancer

March 24, 2017 at midnight

Do you have a loved one or friend you are trying to encourage to get a colon cancer screening? It can be a difficult conversation because about one third of Americans in the target age range for screening have not done it. Maybe they are worried about potential complications, or the procedure itself makes them uncomfortable, or they just don't like going to the doctor for any reason. Here are five things you can tell them to encourage them to take that step.

Variety of Testing Methods

People between the ages of 50 and 75 are encouraged to get a colorectal exam. If there is a family history, many doctors recommend that they start even earlier than the age of 50. Note that there are a variety of methods to getting a colorectal test, and the most important thing is that the person does one of them. In other words, the best test is the one they take. Examine the different methods available, and see which one might be the one they're most likely to agree to.

Sleep It Off

If you are trying to encourage your loved one to go in for a complete colonoscopy and they are voicing reservations, tell them that they can be completely asleep for the entire operation. The procedure itself does not take long, and they wake up in short order and the whole thing is over.

Stool DNA Test

If they are still hesitant to go in for a full colonoscopy, a noninvasive test is available to get an initial read on the situation. One method is a stool DNA test, and it detects changes in genes in colon cancer cells. You get a kit they use at home to get a small sample from their stool and send it to a laboratory. Your friend or loved one doesn't have to worry about engaging in a special diet or taking any laxatives to prepare for the test. If the test shows any kind of current cancer or precancerous conditions, they would then have to go in to the hospital for a colonoscopy for confirmation.

Microscopic Camera in Pill

There is a new colon cancer screening method that is essentially a microscopic camera inside of a pill — the pill travels through the intestines detecting problems. Technically, it's not its own screening test, but is a good follow-up method for anyone who has not been able to finish a full colonoscopy. If they find anything out of the ordinary, another procedure might be the next step depending on the doctor’s recommendations.

Virtual Colonoscopy

Another type of test your loved one may want to consider is a CT colonography, also known as a virtual colonoscopy. This is an advanced test that uses computed tomography (also known as a CT or CAT) scan of the rectum and colon. This test is a good option if they absolutely do not want an invasive test like a colonoscopy.

Share with your friend or loved one these five points about the colonoscopy procedure. It will help them understand there are different ways to handle colon cancer screening and correction. The important thing to remember is that any test is better than no test at all, and that doing so can save their life.


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