Colorectal cancer is known to be the second death-causing cancer in the United States. At the same time, colon cancer is also one of the easily treatable forms of cancer. But, for that, it must be detected at an early stage. For the diagnosis of colorectal cancer, the most common procedure used by doctors is a colonoscopy.
During this process, the rectum and colon of a patient are examined with the help of a colonoscope. Notably, a colonoscope is a tube-like instrument with a camera on the tip of it. The doctor inserts the colonoscope into the patient’s colon. The procedure is an effective way to diagnose colorectal cancer. It is also used for biopsy and the removal of the lesion.
However, regardless of being helped, patients should be aware of the pros and cons of the colonoscopy procedure before they jump into it.
If you’re also considering getting this procedure done, make sure to bear in mind the following details.
The Pros of Colonoscopy
Colonoscopy was introduced keeping in mind the various purposes and uses it intends to provide. Some of the advantages of going through a colonoscopy are:
A colonoscopy is an important diagnostic and surveillance process. It helps not only in the diagnosis of colorectal cancer but also helps in the examination of different gastrointestinal diseases along with inflammatory bowel disease.
Examining through colonoscopy not only allows for discovering cancer at an early stage but also helps eliminate polyps, which are also known as cancer precursors. Importantly, these cancer precursors can be increased in size, which can further result in the, becoming malignant if left untreated.
Furthermore, if a polyp is detected during the colonoscopy, it can easily be eradicated with the help of a process called a polypectomy. Hence, the chances of it turning into cancer will be minimized completely.
The Cons of Colonoscopy
Despite providing plenty of advantages, colonoscopy has a fair share of disadvantages as well. Some of the advantages that this process comes with are:
Colonoscopy can be an uncomfortable and invasive process. For this reason, doctors prefer providing patients with sleep medicine prior to starting the procedure. Sleep medicine tends to affect you for a good few days. Hence, you might have to skip school or work. Moreover, you’ll also need someone’s assistance to get back home after getting the procedure done.
Apart from the process itself, the colonoscopy preps are quite daunting as well. You will be required to clean your bowel and have to consume only liquids a few days before the procedure.
Colonoscopy, just like any other medical procedure comes with multiple complications including perforation, bleeding, and in the most severe cases, death. One common complication that almost every patient has to deal with after getting a colonoscopy done is perforation. Despite being a common concern, doctors haven’t been able to prevent it properly, which has caused several deaths as well.
As far as the colonoscopy cost is considered, the procedure will cost you a lot if you don’t have medical insurance.
Hence, these are some of the pros and cons of getting a colonoscopy done. Make sure to go consider everything properly before you get a procedure scheduled.