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When it comes to colon cancer, it is more important than ever to take charge of your health and act as your own healthcare advocate. Getting comfortable with a procedure like a colonoscopy will happen when you are informed and are able to approach your medical provider with your questions and concerns. While the following common questions below may not completely cover every concern you have, they are great starting points to get the discussion rolling about this procedure.   

Q: What prep will you be prescribing and do I have any other options?

Proper prep before a colonoscopy is crucial in helping your doctor have a clear look at your colon during the examination. Over the years, there have been modifications in colonoscopy prep in order to make the process easier for patients. If you have special needs or concerns, ask your doctor about alternative colonoscopy prep options.

Q: Are there certain medications I should stop taking?

You may need to stop taking certain medications before the procedure. Be open with your doctor about what types of medications you are taking. Sometimes patients should stay on their medication or adjust their dosage, while others should completely stop taking certain medications during prep. Talk with your doctor before stopping or starting any medications.

Q: Should I try my colonoscopy without sedation?

Since the procedure typically takes about 30 minutes, some people opt out of sedation during their colonoscopies. Some people feel pain more than others, so doctors usually recommend sedation. Refusing sedation during your colonoscopy is something you could consider, but talk with your doctor before making a definitive decision.

Q: How often should I get screened for colon cancer?

The usual recommendation to get screened is once every 10 years, but this can vary depending on your risk for colon cancer. Talk with your medical provider to assess your personal risk for colon cancer and how to approach screening for this disease.   photo credit: NEC Corporation of America NEC-Medical-137 via photopin (license)

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