A few months ago I turned 50. Kind of sad, I know.
However, upon the occasion of my birthday my very pesky family physician, Dr. Cherie Glazner, told me that 50 was the magic age when you needed a screening colonoscopy. Yikes! I had not even thought about that. I had so many horrible images in my mind that I didn’t even want to think about it. But, slowly she convinced me that this was the right thing to do, and that my paranoia was unfounded.
So, I thought I would put her to the test and I brought a camera along to record the event. If it really was as painless as she said, then I figured I could let others know as well, and then we would all be healthier.
I went to see my good friend, Dr. Pat McElwee, long-time gastroenterologist at Centers for Gastroenterology in Fort Collins. He also assured me the event was not as bad as people made it sound and, better yet, he agreed to participate in the video so that we could prove to people just how harmless it was. We then got Rebecca Craig, the CEO of Harmony Surgery Center (where the screening would happen), involved and it all came together.
Then, in a moment which was, I suspect, poetic, the New York Times published just this week an article which said that the fear I had was the #1 reason why people in the United States didn’t get a screening colonoscopy at age 50.
So in a moment of serious transparency, here is a video of my recent screening colonoscopy. Don’t make fun! I really think that you’ll watch this and realize that it is not as bad as people make it out to be, and it very literally could save your life. The procedure itself took about 20 minutes, and I went back to work when it was over.
The takeaway is this, from Dr. McElwee at the 3:46 mark of the video: “Screening colonoscopies lead to early detection, early detection leads to better cure rates, and better cure rates lead to a reduction in mortality secondary to cancer.”
I got mine — go get yours!
P.S. You’ll be happy to know that during this process I learned that screening colonoscopies in China are generally done with NO anesthesia at all. So no complaining!