Colon exam doesn’t finish the job

A new study is pushing a cut-rate version of the colonoscopy — and while it might save your insurance company big money, don’t count on it to save your life.

It’s called sigmoidoscopy, and it can cost as little as $250 versus $1,000 for a colonoscopy and anesthesia. Researchers say their analysis of studies involving hundreds of patients finds that this newer procedure is just as effective as colonoscopy at reducing deaths by colon cancer.

Both procedures use a camera on a tube inserted into your hindquarters, but that’s where the similarities end — because while colonoscopies involve a thorough examination of the entire colon, the bargain-basement version only looks at the lower third.

Hey, you’ve seen one part of the colon, you’ve seen it all, right?

Not on your life! Any gastroenterologist worth his scope will tell you that they often find polyps and other growths in the part of the colon skipped by the sigmoidoscopy.

An amateur, on the other hand, will miss polyps no matter where they grow… and that’s how we got this study.

You see, the researchers didn’t look at colonoscopies done here in the United States, where they’re performed by specialists such as gastroenterologists. Nope — all the patients in this review were overseas, where colonoscopies are done by general practitioners.

You’ve got a camera, I’ve got a tube — let’s have a rectal exam!

Take it from me — you know I have no great love of cancer screenings, and I’m against nearly all of them. But colonoscopies work, plain and simple, and they work so well there’s simply no reason to trust your hiney to any cheap, unproven alternatives — no matter how much the insurance companies might love them.

So forget sigmoidoscopies, virtual colonoscopies, and any other gimmick that comes along and get a plain old colonoscopy from a doctor with a proven track record.

No ifs, ands… or butts.

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha

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