Colonoscopies: An Ounce of Prevention!
Commissioner Tommy Adkisson
March 29, 2007

I reported to you that one of my areas of transformational leadership was in the area of health. So my last article dealt with the much forgotten or underappreciated area of oral health and the Oral Health Bible. This article deals with another underappreciated yet vital item on my health checklist of important things to do.

What is so interesting is that both men and women are supposed to have a colonoscopy by age 50. I used to think and you will sometimes hear that the age for your first test is supposed to be 40. I was seven years overdue!

What I found is that a small bottle of citrate and a gallon of solution consumed the day and night before respectively, prepared me for the colonoscopy. Early the next day I appeared around 5:30 a.m. for the preparatory work. After taking my pulse and signing some disclaimers and insertion of the intravenous connection in a vein in my hand, I was wheeled into the procedure room.

I was fitted with the oxygen "harness" in my nose, the anesthesia hooked up to my hand and asked to turn on my side. The oxygen smelled fine and the next thing I knew I was looking up at my wife Karen and asking if they had finished the procedure. She said we were ready to go home.

A polyp was clipped and my Doctor will review it with me on March 15. That hopefully will be it!

I am in hopes that your reading this column will encourage you to consider not putting off the procedure if you are over 50 and haven't had it. It is really pretty much a snap and painless. Yet the satisfaction of knowing where you stand with respect to the possibility of facing colon cancer is hugely important to you and your loved ones!

According to the May 2002 "Science Blog", "Katie Couric, known as the perky co-host of NBC's ‘Today Show', underwent a live, on-air colonoscopy two years after the tragic death of her husband Jay Monahan from colon cancer at age 42. This was the cornerstone of a week-long series the show ran promoting colon cancer awareness and endorsing colorectal cancer screening.

"Our study shows the number of colonoscopies increased by 19 percent, and was sustained for 40 weeks," says Peter Cram, M.D., lead author on the study. "Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death among Americans. It is important to point out that a majority of these deaths can be prevented if people underwent the recommended screening."

According to the American Cancer Society, "colon cancer is often highly treatable. If colon cancer is found early and treated, the 5-year survival rate is 90%. But because many people are not getting tested, only 39% of cases are diagnosed at this early stage when treatment is so successful." Check out the American Cancer Society's information by clicking the American Cancer Society link (External Site).

To your health!

<< Return to Writings