Why Not a Colonoscopy

I give up.  Surrender.  Yield.  Capitulate. Cede.  For 25 years of medical practice I have urged, begged and prodded all to get colonoscopies.  But, each day, I see new patients with new cancers who assure me they have never had the procedure.   More then 130,200 Americans will be diagnosed with colon cancer this year and most of them will have never had a colonoscopy.  Therefore, with the theory that 130,200 souls cannot be wrong, with an open mind (if a grieving heart) and in the spirit of fairness, I present the definitive list –   26 Reasons why not to get a colonoscopy:

  1. You have no reading material to peruse while gracing the porcelain throne.
  2. You are lonely and believe chemotherapy nurses make good company.
  3. You believe a colostomy makes a flattering fashion statement.
  4. You believe in giving cancer a fair break.
  5. You believe that gastroenterologists spend their time gazing into the darkest corners of the universe only for personal entertainment.
  6. You enjoy being constipated and hate a good purge.
  7. You think if you do get colon cancer, you will not be one of the 56,300 each year to die.
  8. You failed math and believe the lifetime risk of getting colon cancer (5.1%) is less then the risk of a perforation from lower endoscopy (0.09%).
  9. You do not have a telephone to make an appointment.
  10. You do not know anyone to drive you to the procedure and home.
  11. You believe your boss will give you more time off if you get cancer, then if you ask for one day for the test.
  12. You do not believe that benign polyps can become malignant and by removing them early, you prevent colon cancer.
  13. You are concerned about Oncologists employment and wish to visit them often.
  14. You look good bald.
  15. You like the pasty pale appearance that comes from bleeding.
  16. Even though most colon cancer is random, you believe that since no one in your family has had the disease you cannot get it.
  17. You are modest and believe you have a particularly unattractive derriere.
  18. You actually believe that your gastroenterologist cares that you have a particularly unattractive derriere.
  19. You are afraid that if you do drink that gallon of orange flavored physic, you may never enjoy drinking Tang again.
  20. You wish to donate your body to cancer research.
  21. You wish to trade one night of drinking the flush for many nights of vomiting from chemotherapy.
  22. You really did not want to see those grandchildren grow up, anyway.
  23. You do not believe in cancer, polyps, colitis, diverticuli, AVMs or any other abnormality those doctors supposedly find with the scope.
  24. You do not look when you cross the street, gambling there will not be any cars.
  25. You will not be able to resist giving the doctor a heart attack by eating red Jell-O the night before the test.
  26. You believe it is someone else’s responsibility to take care of your body.

Average risk Americans should have a colonoscopy at age 50 and then every 7 to 10 years, unless there are abnormalities.  This should be continued until the life expectancy for that person is estimated to be less then 10 years.  Individuals with higher risk or polyps may need to be scoped earlier or more often.

OK I lied.  I never gave up, will never give up and will never stop fighting.  I have enough patients, and will only really be happy when the office is empty.  Call for your colonoscopy today.


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