Tuesday, March 2, 2010

March Madness

Madness:Pronunciation: \ˈmad-nəs\.  Function: noun
1: the quality or state of being mad: as a : rage b : insanity c : extreme folly d : ecstasy, enthusiasm.
2: skipping your colonoscopy.

March is Colon Cancer Awareness month.  I will repeat my request for you to get your colonoscopy* over with.  If you are under 40, tell your parents to get the procedure.

Look.  This is not hard.  You have to "prep" the day before, meaning that you forgo solid food and drink a laxative that induces diarrhea.  If you've ever had food poisoning or an intestinal virus (a.k.a. the cruise ship trots), then you've had far worse diarrhea than you will with the prep.  The day of the procedure, you show up, have an i.v. inserted, make butt jokes with the nurses, make drug jokes with the anesthesiologist, fall asleep, and then wake up later.  That's all there is.  You don't see the camera going up your butt and you certainly don't feel anything.  You can reward yourself with a big lunch afterward.  Consider it a diet holiday and eat heartily.

Are you afraid of what they'll find?  In the overwhelming majority of cases they find nothing.  I know what you're thinking, "But they found something in you."  Truthfully, there's an extremely small chance that they'll find something.  But it's better to find out early, when you have no symptoms, than later, when you're in pain and bleeding.  Polyps in the early stage can be clipped right then and there.  Look, here are the survival rates at five years after diagnosis.  The numbers are from multiple sources, hence the range.

Stage 0: ~100% (pre-cancerous polyps)
Stage 1: up to 95%
Stage 2: ~80%
Stage 3: 40-65%
Stage 4: 8%

What are you waiting for? Get off your ass and have it looked at.

*  I know the guidelines recommend colonoscopies for those over 50, not 40, but I can't be impartial because I'm 43, younger than the recommended age.  Talk to your doctor as there are other screening options.


  1. Harass father: Check

    Sorry I haven't been checking in. This was one of many links I lost due to a computer death.

  2. Saw your link to Potomack Soccer Wire, cool article.