What to expect for your colonoscopy
On the day before the procedure, you will begin a colonoscopy preparation to help make it easier for your doctor to examine the colon. This will require you to take a medicine and briefly change your diet. In the actual procedure, your doctor inserts a thin, flexible tube, called a colonoscope, into the rectum. The colonoscope allows the doctor to take pictures, inspect the lining of the colon walls for abnormalities, take tissue samples, and remove polyps. While this may sound like a scary or painful experience, you very likely will not remember your colonoscopy exam. That's because you will be given medication before the colonoscopy procedure. In fact, most people who have a colonoscopy experience no discomfort and say the procedure is no big deal.
Who should have a colonoscopy exam?
If you are 50 or older and have never been screened for colon cancer, you should schedule a colonoscopy procedure today. Fifty is the age when people are at the greatest risk for developing colon polyps, which can lead to colon cancer. A colonoscopy exam is a painless procedure, and it's one of the most accurate ways to detect polyps. When spotted during a colonoscopy, polyps can be removed, thus decreasing the risk of developing colon cancer.