Have a fear of colonoscopies? More colon screening options now available

Medical photo.

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH)  – Colonoscopies can be tough, from the prep to the procedure. But there are now more options.

Doctor Douglas Rex, the director of endoscopy from IU Health, says we have a problem in the US: not enough people are being screened.

National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable, an organization that brings together different groups from the health community, set a goal to get 80 percent of the eligible population screened by 2018 but it hasn’t been reached.  In fact, screenings have leveled of by about 60 percent.

However, the traditional screening isn’t your only option. There are two alternative tests. A blood test and something which you may have seen advertised on TV called “Cologaurd.” It’s a combo of the blood test and also a test for abnormal DNA. Doctor Rex says that’s a good start for people nervous about a colonoscopy.

“It’s really important who are unwilling to have a colonoscopy, they are concerned about the prep or the procedure or sedated. Those folks should understand that there still are tests that are available that are pretty good test that are definitely worth doing. They have to be done more often and if they’re positive they are still going to lead to a colonoscopy. so we just want to encourage people to get a test done.”

Colorectal cancer is the second leading cancer. So, doctors are encouraging people to get screened. If you have a history of this type of cancer in your family it’s even more important to get screened before the age of 50. Obviously talk to your doctors about the specifics, but a call to get screened by doctors could save your life.