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Should I have a colonoscopy – I hear they are not such a good idea?

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Joe Asks Dale:

Should I have a “routine” colonoscopy – I hear they are not such a good idea? Are they safe? Do people live longer if they get them?

One of my go to Medical Doctors,  John McDougall's opinion is a resounding no. Here is  a excerpt:

As I walked out of his office I said, “I have seen perfectly healthy people killed after having their colon perforated with your six-foot long tubes passed under sedation.” What bothered me most about this exchange was that I am a doctor, yet he was talking to me in a condescending manner, as if I were a hopelessly ignorant child. I imagine that it must be pure hell for the average patients suffering through his aggressive sales pitch. As I left I said to the doctor, “You should be ashamed of your behavior and you should probably be reported to your local medical board for showing such disrespect for a patient.”*

*Patients have the rights to receive considerate, safe, respectful care, and to be made comfortable; to receive care in a safe setting, free from verbal or physical abuse or harassment; to receive information about their health status, course of treatment, prospects for recovery and outcomes of care; to make decisions regarding medical care, and receive as much information about any proposed treatment or procedure; etc. (Paraphrased from the St. Helena Hospital Patients’ Bill of Rights.)

Colonoscopy Screening Is Unnecessary

Since the early years following the development of colonoscopy in 1969, the procedure has been attacked as being unnecessary and unduly dangerous.1However, with a colonoscopy costing up to $3,000 for each procedure, it has become the gold standard for colon cancer prevention. That prestigious position is now being lost due to recent scientific publications revealing the truth about colonoscopies. Gastroenterologists should expect their incomes to be cut by at least half as the truth becomes more widespread, especially in this climate of out-of-control healthcare spending.

As a young doctor in the 1970s I used a rigid two-foot long sigmoidoscope to check my patients for hemorrhoids, colon polyps, and cancer. The procedure was painful, relatively safe, cost about $100, and could be performed in about 10 minutes without any sedation in my office. Colonoscopies became popular as a screening tool in the late 1970s. Because this instrument (the colonoscope) must travel through 6 feet of torturous and turning bowel with four right angle turns (rather than only 2 feet with two bends with a sigmoidoscope) much more is involved. The colonoscopy requires a thorough bowel preparation (lasting as long as three days), sedation, and at least 30 minutes to perform. The risks from the sedation and passage of the tube are considerable. In contrast, nowadays a much more comfortable sigmoidoscope exam (using a flexible instrument) can be performed, which requires at most a day of preparation, costs about $200, and can be completed in 10 minutes. No sedation is required and harm is rarely caused to the patient. Adequately trained nurse practitioners can perform flexible sigmoidoscopy as competently as gastroenterologists can. “

His complete and persuading story and experience is linked below:

https://www.drmcdougall.com/misc/2010nl/aug/colon.htm

And if you want more video stories, go to youtube, there are over 5000  videos colonoscopy side effects.

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=colonoscopy+side+effects

I am not willing to take a chance with this invasive test. You will have to decide for yourself.

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