Colonoscopy – It’s only your bum – don’t be dumb, go and get tested!

colonoscopy

My most recent Facebook Live event featured a very special guest – my husband, Kevin. Earlier this year, following a 7-month delay due to Covid, Kevin’s bowel cancer screening test came back positive.  Kevin had to have a colonoscopy, followed by a procedure to have several polyps removed. 

We wanted to highlight the importance of keeping up to date with bowel cancer screening (and all other tests for that matter) which is why we decided to join forces for this event and discuss Kevin’s experience. If you were unable to join us live, you can watch the video and find out more here:

We are so very fortunate to have access to free healthcare in the UK and it’s thanks to our NHS that Kevin’s polyps were caught early, just as millions of other potentially fatal diseases can be caught early and stopped in their tracks when we keep on top of our check-ups and tests.  However, there are still too many lives being lost simply because people have not bothered, sometimes through nonchalance, but also through fear or the belief that ‘it won’t happen to me’ or ‘it’s nothing serious’. 

I think we all know a few men who are notoriously bad at going to see the GP. Kevin is in the minority – he makes sure he’s up to date with all his health checks, and it’s thanks to this that he was able to avoid something that could have been a lot worse.

He did a great job of telling his story and emphasising the importance of getting checked if something isn’t quite right.

Some of the questions that were asked included:

  • What is a colonoscopy?
  • How do you prepare for a colonoscopy?
  • Is a colonoscopy painful?
  • What happens during a colonoscopy?
  • What did they find during the colonoscopy?
  • Were the polyps sent off for biopsy and what happened then?

You can read more about Kevin’s colonoscopy in this blog post: https://justfortummies.co.uk/how-kevins-early-screening-prevented-a-potentially-serious-illness/.

Update: since writing the post, the large polyp that was removed during the colonoscopy was sent off to be biopsied.  The results came back ten days later – all clear, cancer-free.  A few weeks after the colonoscopy, Kevin went for a sigmoidoscopy (same procedure/equipment used but just examines the last section of the large bowel) to have the remaining polyps removed. He will be called in for another colonoscopy in a year’s time, then if all is well, 3 years after that. 

If you would like to read more about colonoscopies, this is really useful information from Guy’s & St. Thomas’ Healthcare Trust:  https://www.guysandstthomas.nhs.uk/resources/patient-information/gi/having-a-colonoscopy.pdf