A cancer screening that really works
The only thing better than a cancer cure is a cancer that doesn't need to be cured in the first place because your doctor caught it early.
Docs use that line to push all kinds of cancer screenings, including procedures you don't need and some that may end up doing you more harm than good. But there's one you do need -- one very mainstream cancer screening that, surprisingly, works as advertised - colonoscopies.
Now, I know the power of that word. When I use it in person in my clinic, it has the power to get patients looking for the nearest exit.
By email, who knows... maybe you've already hit the "delete" button.
I hope you haven't, because two new studies confirm that this simple, safe and (believe it or not) painless procedure has the power to save your life. Get scoped, and your risk of death from colon cancer will plunge by 56 percent.
That makes colonoscopies one of the most effective techniques for beating any cancer of any kind.
Other colon screenings can also help, but not nearly as much. A fecal occult test will cut your risk by a third, while sigmoidoscopy -- which uses a shorter tube and looks at only part of the colon -- can reduce the risk by 40 percent.
The study didn't look at "virtual" colonoscopies, but other studies have shown it's not as effective as the real deal (in addition to exposing you to far too much radiation).
But most people don't choose a virtual colonoscopy or a sigmoidoscopy because they think it's more effective. They choose these procedures because they think they're more comfortable -- and that's just not true.
In real colonoscopies, you're put under general anesthesia. As a result, you don't feel a thing beyond a little grogginess when you wake up.
During a sigmoidoscopy and virtual colonoscopy, on the other hand, you'll be wide awake -- and you'll feel plenty, which is why patients who've had real and virtual procedures prefer traditional colonoscopy by nearly every measure.
You can read more about that right here.
So skip the shortcuts and get yourself a real colonoscopy. Schedule it early, as studies show doctors are sharper and detect more polyps during morning procedures.
Since you can't eat until it's over, getting it out of the way early also means you don't have to deal with hunger pangs all day.