Colorectal Health NW helped spread the word about colon cancer screening during the 2015 Women’s Expo at the Portland Convention Center!

2015 Women's Health ExpoColorectal cancer is the 2nd most common cause of cancer death in the United States, but is very preventable! Screening colonoscopy is an important tool to not only detect colon cancer at a more treatable stage, but to find and remove polyps before they become cancer in the first place! Colorectal cancers and polyps usually don’t cause symptoms until advanced, so routine screening is important!

Myths

1.  I feel fine, so I don’t need a colonoscopy.

FALSE! Most colorectal polyps and even cancers do not cause any symptoms until they are advanced. Don’t wait for symptoms, preventing cancer is better than treating it.

2. The preparation for the colonoscopy is awful!

FALSE! While the choice of bowel prep does depend upon other medical conditions, most people are able to use a modern low volume prep that makes the process much easier.

3. I will be completely awake and remember everything.

FALSE! Most colonoscopy procedures are done with sedation so that you are comfortable and most likely will not remember the procedure at all.

4. If polyps are found, my insurance company will not cover the procedure.

FALSE! The whole point of screening is to assess your risk for colon cancer and to remove polyps that are precancerous to protect you from colon cancer. When colonoscopy is done for screening purposes (not for symptoms) insurance companies are required to treat it as a preventative service, which usually means no out of pocket cost. Finding and removing polyps should not change this. See the Oregon law that protects you.

5. Only people over 50 need a colonoscopy.

FALSE! If you have a family history of colon or rectal cancer or polyps in an immediate family member you need your first colonoscopy at age 40, or 10 years younger than the family member was diagnosed. Click here to receive more info on colonoscopies!

6. No one in my family has had colon cancer, so I don’t need to worry about this.

False! While having a family history of colon cancer certainly increases your risk of colorectal cancer, not having a family history does not protect you! Most people presenting with the diagnosis of colorectal cancer do not have a family history of colorectal cancer.

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