Colorectal cancer screenings are recommended for people of the magic age of 50. Enticing participants for the test occurs at the half century mark, whether needed or not, taking away the hoopla of turning older and wiser and succumbing to the required tests of the age. It is not a party anymore, at age 50, when the powers that be say to clean out and get your parts looked at. No more cake and ice cream, nothing at all, as obeying all the rules of doctors means to clean the colon and be photographed for test day.
Medical tests cost money, with or without insurance, the required tests, so they say, are needed and must be done. As if no one has an option in taking care of themselves, the recommended tests are often done on time and in the fashion dictated by the health professionals. Health professionals are trained and keen on the workings of the body and are also caring individuals that have a life outside of their workplace. They are lucky to have required tests in place to ensure patient payments that also go to nurses, technicians, hospitals and labs.
It is up to each individual to oversee their own health with the good advice they receive from their doctor. Doing in-home research is beneficial when it comes to all the testing that seems to be required. Colorectal cancer screening is no exception. It has been documented that over 160,000 US citizens per year will find themselves with the dreaded disease. Even being tested for colorectal cancer will not prevent the likely outcome, if it is to happen in their lifetime.
Katie Couric, a famous news celebrity, lost her husband Jay Monahan in 2000, at the age of 42. He was well below the age of getting tested for colon cancer and sadly died leaving Katie and two daughters. Couric went on to campaign for the disease, urging all to get tested and openly displaying her own procedure on camera. It was a life changing moment in medical history and increased the number of tests that occurred after. She made a difference, but was also obliged to her employers, General Electric and NBC.
Promoting a long tube with a camera attached, the colonoscope is a most marvelous invention. Statistics on the procedure have varied over the years from accolades to Couric’s next gig with CBS. Still acclaiming success with testing, Couric acknowledged rates of colon cancer decreasing. Still, money in doctors pockets for the hyped up test proved fun money for vacations and golf or such. Is it really necessary to get the colon scoped with the risks that abound?
Any surgery or invasive test does not go without risks. Colorectal cancer screenings have side effects and risks beyond the expected outcome. Even when tested, there is no guarantee of being cancer free, as it can never show all beyond the year of the test. The risk of being perforated in the intestines is always there, along with pain, and even the threat of having a heart attack or stroke from the stress and anxiety. The general side effects such as constipation or diarrhea seem minimal in comparison, but still noteworthy, along with possible bleeding.
Colorectal cancer screening is not an everyday event. One to two days of preparation is needed to achieve good results and an accurate test. Whether or not it is all necessary or may end up to just being fun money for the doctor and is up to each individual’s choice. As humans, we all will be tested here and there to determine the path for the future. Paying closer attention to diet and exercise can help to avoid the unnecessary tests and extra money in the medical field’s bank of loyal patients, pokes and prods.
Editorial By: Roanne FitzGibbon