Read this BEFORE your next pipe-cleaning!

No butts about it: If you want to save your rear, you need to drag your tail in for a colonoscopy.

Unlike other cancer screenings, this one allows a doc to not only detect the early warning signs of the disease… but also remove them on the spot.

You might say that it’s the top test for your bottom.

But before you schedule that potentially life-saving appointment, you have to do a little homework -- because new research reveals a dark side to the backside business.

Some joints don’t do the job right. They can leave you injured or ill.

They could even KILL you!

USA Today finds that the number of non-hospital surgical care clinics that specialize in procedures including colonoscopies has jumped in recent years.

On the one hand, that’s terrific news.

Colonoscopies used to be something people feared and avoided.

The growing number of clinics is a sign that word is getting out – and that more people are getting screened and treated.

These clinics can also do other procedures that used to require a hospital stay, often with more flexibility and efficiency.

On the other, as with any exploding industry, not everyone is operating on the same standard.

Some are out to make a quick buck off your butt.

They could be cutting corners. They may even be hiring people not quite up to the job.

Or as I discuss with my colleague Doug Kaufmann in my new video series Beyond Chemo… the instruments they use might not even be clean.

And as a result, the outcomes can be deadly.

USA Today reports, for example, that two patients died and a third was in critical care after colonoscopies at a single clinic in Arkansas.

Normally, you’d expect some oversight organization to move in and crack down.

But that’s exactly the problem: In many cases, there is little to no oversight for colonoscopies and other procedures done at “surgical care centers.”

They DON’T have to report all of their data to Medicare, and they can SKIP critical information on the rate of screw-ups, deaths, and number of people who need to be hospitalized.

Be careful about who you trust your rear end to (and other parts of your body, for that matter), especially when it comes to surgical care centers.

Speak to someone you trust with expertise, such as your doctor, and gather as much information as you can -- including the experience of the specialist who will do the procedure.

And don’t stop there.

Once you’ve settled on a place, do something else: Schedule an early appointment.

Studies show that docs are better at spotting polyps early in the morning and get worse as the day goes on. A morning appointment allows the early bird to catch the worm.

And since you can’t eat until it’s over, you might even be done in time for breakfast.

For more on how to spot cancers early and take care of them quick, tune in to my free six-part video series. You can catch up on any episodes you’ve missed right here.