Nobody wants to get a colonoscopy, however they are the best way to detect and prevent colon cancer. Unfortunately, many people avoid this procedure out of fear of what it might entail or what they have to go through. Although it’s not pleasant, it could be life saving.
Colon and rectal cancers (collectively known as colorectal cancer) are the third most common type of cancer in men and women, and the second leading cause of cancer-related death in the U.S., says Harvard Health.
In order to have a colonoscopy, the colon has to be empty and clean which does require a little bit of prep work. We’re going to walk through some tips on how to prepare for a colonoscopy, including dietary choices, medications, as well as what to expect before, during, and afterward. Let’s take a look…
What Is a Colonoscopy?
A colonoscopy is an exam used to spot colon cancer while it is still treatable or before it has spread to other parts of the body, says Harvard Health Publishing. They can also detect and remove polyps (small growths) or other abnormalities that could potentially develop into colon cancer.
According to the Mayo Clinic, the procedure is performed by using a long, flexible tube (colonoscope) that is inserted into the rectum. Attached is a tiny camera that allows the doctor to view the inside of the colon.
The source goes on to explain that colonoscopies are used to investigate any intestinal problems, such as abdominal pain, rectal bleeding, constipation, diarrhea, or other issues. It’s also used to screen for cancer and look for polyps.