GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - March is Colon Cancer Awareness Month. If caught early, colon cancer is a preventable and curable disease. However, it remains the second leading cause of cancer deaths in men and women in the United States.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that adults 50-75 be screened for colorectal cancer.
Action 2 News anchor Jeff Alexander just had a colonoscopy and takes us through the screening process.
After meeting with Prevea Health Gastroenterology Roland Christian, it was time to begin the preparation process.
The evening before my first colonoscopy ...
"There's a number of factors that have to come together for this to be a successful test for you and for me, and one of the things you're doing is you're doing, what's called a Split Dose Bowel Prep," says Dr. Christian.
Here's my review of the bowel prep liquid mixture: "Not bad, not great, It's going to take awhile to drink all this."
The more I drank, the worse it tasted. However, I followed the directions.
"And then when we do the exam, I can see the little polyps and take them off," Dr. Christian says.
At 1:30 Wednesday afternoon, I arrived at HSHS St. Vincent Hospital.
"It's the end of the world as I know it," I thought.
After checking in, we head to the 3rd floor and the Prevea Center for Digestive Health.
I'm hanging in there, ready to go. Hungry. Let's get this process going, right.
After changing into my stylish gown, a nurse takes my blood pressure and checks my temperature.
Dr. Christian stops by to go over any final questions and explain the process.
"Thereafter you'll get an intravenous started, an IV, a catheter that allows some saline to run into your system and then also eventually medications to make you sleepy for the examination," Dr. Christian says.
Finally, it's show time and off to the exam room.
"While on monitors, you're on cardiac monitors, respiratory monitor, pulse monitor, so we can monitor your vital signs, blood pressure as well, then the examination is started and usually it takes about 15-20 minutes, maybe 30 minutes to complete the exam," Dr. Christian says.
My exam, I'm told, takes 20 minutes. And then it's back to my room where I'm already awake.
I'm a happy camper, procedure went well, piece of cake.
Dr. Christian stops in to say everything looks good.
"You did it. Now you're set for 10 years, Jeff," Dr. Christian laughs.
Within just a few hours of my colonoscopy, I felt completely back to normal. The procedure, seriously no big deal at all. The prep-- not all that fun. But knowing you've taken steps to prevent one of the deadliest forms of cancer--- definitely peace of mind.
COLON CANCER AND SCREENING INFORMATION:https://www.prevea.com/Your-Wellness/Resources/Colon-Cancer-Screening