When Eileen B. finally underwent a colonoscopy at age 62, doctor's discovered cancer. Yet, had she waited longer to undergo the exam, the outcome could have been much different. In her words, "I feel like I dodged a bullet."
My father had colon cancer in his early eighties. My mother had brain cancer at 60 years old. And there is a history of other cancer in my family.
Even with my history, I was not staying on top of my colonoscopies.
In 2009 my primary care physician recommended that I get a colonoscopy. So in 2011, I finally got my first colonoscopy. And when I woke up and they told me that the test showed cancer I was shocked. The only symptom that I had was that I was more tired. In fact, I had stage 2 colon cancer.
Subsequesntly I had laparoscopic surgery and they were able to get the cancer and some additional polyps. They also tested 31 lymph nodes and they were all clear. I was lucky that I did not need any radiation or chemotherapy.
If I would have waited I could have had a very different experience. I was 62 years old and clearly if I would have started with colonoscopies 10 years earlier, as prescribed, they could have removed them in the polyp stage. They told me that the cancer had been growing for at least 7 years. I feel like I dodged a bullet.
I tell my friends and relatives to get colonoscopies as prescribed. Colon cancer is slow growing so chances are that it will be found with a colonoscopy. The prep work is annoying but a small price to pay.
My daughter turns 40 this year and she is having one this year. Getting your colonoscopy is an important part of maintaining good health.
One Valley Gastroenterology & Endoscopy patient, who is a registered nurse, shares her experience with undergoing a colonoscopy. Despite initial reluctance, in the end she said, "They met my high standards and exceeded my expectations."
Due to some bowel changes I had a colonoscopy. My grandfather had colon cancer and my father has had multiple polyps removed. So, I decided that it was in my best interest to have things checked out even though I was only 42 years old.
I am a Registered Nurse (RN) so I am very familiar with the colonoscopy prep, having administered it to many inpatients in the past. I was not looking forward to it, but knew it was part of the process.
When we arrived at Valley Endoscopy Center, everyone we met was very friendly and put me at ease. The nurse that started my IV was excellent. When I was brought to the procedure room, there was a group of women waiting for me. This was my "team." The physician, nurse anesthetist and the nurses were there and were smiling and very warm. The staff kept me informed of what was going to happen and answered all of my questions immediately. I do not remember feeling any discomfort at all and before I knew it, the procedure was over.
I am a health care provider that prides myself on giving excellent care to my patients so I have very high standards for my own healthcare. I can honestly say that all of the people involved, especially the staff in the room during the procedure, met my standards and exceeded my expectations. I do not say this lightly. I am on the five year plan for this procedure and I have no reservations about my next colonoscopy.