Procedures: Meriter Digestive Health Center 202 S. Park Street, Level B Madison, WI 53715 608.417.6389 Screening colonoscopy appointments guaranteed within one week.
Among the cancers that affect both men and women, colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths, yet it is one of the most preventable types of cancer. The best way to prevent colon cancer is with a colonoscopy, a screening test recently proven to significantly reduce America’s risk for colon cancer.*
But too often people don’t get these tests. And unfortunately, early stage colon cancer does not usually have symptoms. Meriter’s Digestive Health Center is on a mission to improve the colonoscopy’s reputation and minimize some of the fears surrounding the procedure.
Dispelling the Myths:
“People who aren’t at high risk don’t need a colonoscopy.” New guidelines state that people at average risk of developing colon cancer should get screened starting at age 50, whereas people at high risk — those with inflammatory bowel disease or a personal or family history of the disease — should get screened starting at age 40 or earlier. You may not need another screening for 10 years if nothing is found, but it’s critical to get that first screening.
“The prep is disgusting to drink and there’s so much of it.” Not at Meriter, where Miralax®, a low-volume prep alternative, is used. It is a gentle, more palatable prep that can be mixed with any clear liquid. Besides improved taste, the Meriter recipe only requires half as much of the prep to be consumed before the test.
“If something is found during the colonoscopy, that’s really bad news.” Actually, just the opposite may be true. Most colon cancers start as non-cancerous growths called polyps, that are found in approximately 30 percent of colonoscopies performed at age 50; and even more frequently as patients age. Those polyps are removed during the colonoscopy, so colon cancer is actually prevented from developing.
“The test is complicated and painful.” The whole screening takes just 30 minutes, and is completely painless. Before the colonoscopy begins, the patient is given intravenous sedatives that make them relaxed and sleepy. Most patients will have no pain whatsoever during the procedure and will probably not remember the colonoscopy itself. Normal activities can resume the next day; this procedure has a very low rate of complications.