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Old 07-05-2014, 05:42 PM
 
Location: Ponte Vedra Beach FL
14,628 posts, read 17,932,507 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marcopolo View Post
Sometimes bad decisions are health decisions. One of my friends will not be posting here, because shortly after he retired he had a colonoscopy and died of complications. The decision to have a colonoscopy turned out to be a very bad decision.

This post will generate objections and arguments and other points of view, but one thing that will NOT happen is a link to a credible double-blind study that clearly shows colonoscopies do more good than harm. The reason there will be no link to such a study is because there never has been such a study.

And yeah, I know you or your brother-in-law was "saved" by a colonoscopy, but my friend was killed by one. So show me the study.
The one thing I can tell you as a retired personal injury/medical malpractice lawyer is that most invasive procedures - including colonoscopies - have various degrees of risks. With colonoscopy - there is always a very small risk of colon perforation and subsequent infection. A doctor is almost never negligent when he/she perforates a colon during a colonoscopy. But is almost always negligent when he/she does not detect a perforation or deal with any resulting infection.

FWIW - since people tend to be less susceptible to treatments for things like colon perforations and subsequent infections as they age (and they're more prone to them when they're older too - because their skin is thinner) - the recommended cut-off age for routine colonoscopy (in the absence of anal bleeding that suggests colon cancer) is about 80-85.

IOW - I suspect your friend - unless he was pretty elderly - had lousy care. How old was he? What were his complications - and why did he die of them?

FWIW - my late mother never had colonoscopy. By the time her colon cancer was diagnosed - it was too late. She died worse than you'd want your dog to die (she had months of hideous pain followed by the cancer perforating her colon - when she died as a result of bleeding to death - it was totally gruesome).

Even though I still have some nasty habits - I get my regular colonoscopy (now every 3 years because I seem to have inherited some of my parents' tendencies to grow not such nice stuff in my colon). Robyn
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Old 07-05-2014, 06:18 PM
 
Location: Columbia SC
8,974 posts, read 7,745,489 times
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Just be sure they changes tubes between the Endo and Colon scope things. One can leave a bad taste in your mouth.
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Old 07-06-2014, 06:59 AM
 
Location: it depends
6,074 posts, read 5,335,268 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robyn55 View Post
The one thing I can tell you as a retired personal injury/medical malpractice lawyer is that most invasive procedures - including colonoscopies - have various degrees of risks......
Yes, so why in the world has medical science failed to quantify these risks? The possible explanations that I can think of are not flattering to the medical-industrial complex.

I'm not doing the faith-based thing when medical science has failed to do the science.
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Old 07-06-2014, 07:40 AM
 
Location: Ponte Vedra Beach FL
14,628 posts, read 17,932,507 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marcopolo View Post
Yes, so why in the world has medical science failed to quantify these risks? The possible explanations that I can think of are not flattering to the medical-industrial complex.

I'm not doing the faith-based thing when medical science has failed to do the science.
The risks have been quantified. IIRC - with a routine screening colonoscopy in a younger healthy person - the risk of perforation is something like one in 1,000. The risk increases with age (in part - IIRC - because the nature of our skin/organs change - they become more fragile).

Risk of perforation from a colonoscopy i... [Gastrointest Endosc. 2009] - PubMed - NCBI

Also - it's harder to treat perforations/complications in the elderly (e.g., it's harder for them to undergo various procedures/operations without additional complications from those procedures/operations). So regular screening colonoscopies aren't recommended for people over X (think the age is 80 or 85). Robyn
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Old 07-06-2014, 07:49 AM
 
Location: it depends
6,074 posts, read 5,335,268 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robyn55 View Post
The risks have been quantified. IIRC - with a routine screening colonoscopy in a younger healthy person - the risk of perforation is something like one in 1,000. The risk increases with age (in part - IIRC - because the nature of our skin/organs change - they become more fragile).

Risk of perforation from a colonoscopy i... [Gastrointest Endosc. 2009] - PubMed - NCBI

Also - it's harder to treat perforations/complications in the elderly (e.g., it's harder for them to undergo various procedures/operations without additional complications from those procedures/operations). So regular screening colonoscopies aren't recommended for people over X (think the age is 80 or 85). Robyn
What's the context? If 100,000 people have colonoscopies as recommended, and 100,000 in a control group do not, how does the overall mortality and morbidity of each group compare?

Between infections, perforations, anesthesia-related damage, the effects of wiping out the biome of the gut, the false positives generating unnecessary further procedures with their own risks, etc., etc., etc., how do the sum total of these health negatives compare to the sum total of health benefits of colonoscopies??

NO ONE KNOWS. Why is that?
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Old 07-06-2014, 08:14 PM
 
Location: State of Being
35,885 posts, read 67,172,097 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robyn55 View Post
Reckon your friend didn't have the screening colonoscopy that is recommended for everyone at age 50 (or for other people at high risk at earlier ages).

There are other common cancer screening tests. Like all of us women should be fondling our breasts with soapy water in the shower every now and then (or have our husbands/SOs do it - although they're apt to be less clinical ). If we feel a lump - it's off to the doctor we go. And that's apart from regular mammography at recommended ages/intervals.

Still - sh** happens. I don't think there's any screening for many forms of cancer. Robyn
No, you are incorrect.

She was religious with having her screenings - in fact, when her insurance wouldn't pay for a screening she felt was necessary, she paid out of pocket.

The way she even found out about her cancer (which had already metastasized by the time it was discovered) was from having a heart screening CT, which checked for calcification and which the local hospital was running a special on - $500 out of pocket to have the scan.

She had been under several physicians' care due to complaints about itching on the right side of her abdomen, accompanied by a feeling of "ants or bugs running around" in that same area. For nearly a year, she had been to her regular physician, then to her regular gastrointerologist, who had finally sent her to a dermatologist. She had seen her gastro only weeks b/f scheduling the heart scan.

While having the scan, she just happened to mention to the tech that she had been experiencing these strange sensations in her abdomen so the Tech got permission to scan that area. That is how her cancer was discovered - more or less - by accident. She had undergone a colonoscopy less than 18 months earlier, at which time 3 benign polyps were removed. That was her 3rd colonoscopy.
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Old 07-06-2014, 08:25 PM
 
Location: State of Being
35,885 posts, read 67,172,097 times
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Opt for a virtual colonoscopy if there are concerns about having a regular one.

My colon is adhered to my abdominal wall and there is no way I am going to have a regular colonoscopy and no way a doc would even want to perform one on me.

So just opt for a virtual procedure.

Most of these procedures are unnecessary and just revenue generators. The includes mammograms. (new report out on that topic, btw).

People DO have symptoms related to colon cancer; we just haven't been taught exactly what to look for and when to consider changes in bowel habits (for example) as something serious. Most of what is removed (polyps) are deemed "precancerous" - so that makes patients feel they have "dodged a bullet" but in reality, most polyps are not a precursor to cancer.
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Old 07-06-2014, 09:19 PM
 
14,260 posts, read 23,995,588 times
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I wish the medical establishment would be as aggressive on cardiac screening for patients with family history of cardiac disease as they are in making sure that everyone gets a colonoscopy at age 50.
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Old 07-06-2014, 09:23 PM
 
Location: State of Being
35,885 posts, read 67,172,097 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jlawrence01 View Post
I wish the medical establishment would be as aggressive on cardiac screening for patients with family history of cardiac disease as they are in making sure that everyone gets a colonoscopy at age 50.
Don't wait on the "medical establishment" to oversee your health. You need to be your own health advocate.

If you feel you need a screening, discuss that with your primary care physician.

People tend to only consider what is covered by their insurance. However, if you feel that you need something addressed and it isn't covered by insurance, then pay for it out of pocket.
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Old 07-06-2014, 09:47 PM
 
Location: Sacramento
13,784 posts, read 23,811,113 times
Reputation: 6195
Quote:
Originally Posted by marcopolo View Post
Yes, so why in the world has medical science failed to quantify these risks? The possible explanations that I can think of are not flattering to the medical-industrial complex.

I'm not doing the faith-based thing when medical science has failed to do the science.
As previously mentioned, though it has some limitations, you can now have a virtual colonoscopy:

Virtual colonoscopy: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia
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