Over 50? Stop stalling and get that colonoscopy

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Rick A

climber
Boulder, Colorado
Topic Author's Original Post - Jan 28, 2008 - 07:53am PT
Home from the hospital where I had surgery to remove a section of colon containing a cancerous polyp. Got the cancer diagnosis about 10 days ago and itís been an eventful time. Had surgery last Tuesday, was in the hospital for 5 days and will be home recovering for a while. Prognosis is good; the cancer had not spread and itís pretty likely the surgery is the last treatment Iíll need.

Donít put off the colonoscopy my friends. Itís not as bad as it sounds and it can be a lifesaver, granting you extra years to play in the mountains.

Rick
Blinny

Trad climber
NWMontana
Jan 28, 2008 - 08:01am PT
YIKES, Ricky!

You're bummin' me out!

MAN. . . I'm sending you the best of the best vibes!

Focus on the magic, my friend, and keep it alive!

oxoxo

KathOldDadBrockman
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Jan 28, 2008 - 08:04am PT
thanks for the reminder Rick,
get well!
WoodySt

Trad climber
Riverside
Jan 28, 2008 - 08:14am PT
My Dad had colon cancer in his mid sixties; they got it in time. I've had three colonoscopies over the years; and, right, not much to them.
Rokjox

Trad climber
boys, I dunno.
Jan 28, 2008 - 08:46am PT
I'm working poor.

No Insurance because its always predicated on your employer wanting to provide the service. Employers have dumped insurance for many here, as we are the Entreprenural capital of the US here. that means everyone has a small business of some sort, and few pay ANY benefits any more. Even Fish and Game hires temps so they dont have to pay holidays and other "benefits". Its like life in the 1890's here.

Be like that where you are too, soon. Its the new "Capitalism". Or the old "slavery". You work just as much and as hard, but your employer just replaces you when you die. Very efficient and practical. Especially now that we have so much surplus population.

Capitalism is so much cheaper than the alternatives. What is the Alternative? Been so long since anybody asked that I've forgotten the term.

Providing what the people need has fallen out of the vocabulary. We are not humanity, we are just the "workforce" and "productivity" is the god-sent measure of lifestyle and quality.

There ARE no guys living under the bridges. Thats illegal.

I'm gonna die and nobody cares.

Bart Fay

Social climber
Redlands, CA
Jan 28, 2008 - 08:55am PT
Good Luck Rick. Heal well. Glad they caught it in time. Nobody likes the
threat of a colostomy, or worse. Hope all the fun is all behind you now.

I've been enduring them annually for over a decade. Those sadists. Itís the fasting
and prep that sucks. Dirt is our local colonoscopy expert. He'll be along any time now.

Edit: Rokjox you are quite the ray of sunshine this morning.
Roger Breedlove

climber
Cleveland Heights, Ohio
Jan 28, 2008 - 09:02am PT
Good luck Rick. I am glad that you caught it early. Nothing has shown up my physical exams for colon cancer, but my PSA levels for prostate cancer were elevated and increasing, to the point that statistically I had a 36% chance of prostate cancer. I had the biopsy just before Christmas and, fortunately for me, I have no cancer.

I hope your healing is fast and complete.

Best, Roger

Edited. I was confusing colon and prostate cancers.
bvb

Social climber
flagstaff arizona
Jan 28, 2008 - 09:06am PT
amen, rick. it's never too early. hell, if you're male, go in at 40.

i got my first in 2002, and am going in for my next in march. getting an endoscopy at the same time.

gotta remind the doc to change scopes between the two procedures.....
AbeFrohman

Trad climber
new york, NY
Jan 28, 2008 - 09:11am PT
My dad always says, "Except for the part where they stick a camera up your a*#, its really no big deal."
But then he's remembered none of it, they dope him all up before hand. So how bad could it be?


Heal well.


Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Jan 28, 2008 - 09:22am PT
Speedy recovery Ricky and thanks for the prompting!
exposeur

Trad climber
santa cruz
Jan 28, 2008 - 09:42am PT
ooh i got one of those when they couldn't figure out what was wrong with my tummy. also had an upper GI x-ray where they make you drink barium chloride (goopy chalky awful shit) and strap you to a wheel of fortune thing and spin you around so the barium gets through your gullet faster.
with the colonoscopy you have to drink the roto-rooter crap until you sh#t clear. i sh#t you not. hehe. and no water. so by the time i saw the doctor i was way loopy from dehydration and puked bile on his shoes before being wheeled into the op room, where they were playing some classic rock full blast and demerol'd me into submission.
the best part is they never found anything wrong with me. so i have "irritable bowel syndrome".

have fun! i can't wait till i'm over 50 or get another excuse.
Mighty Hiker

Social climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Jan 28, 2008 - 09:46am PT
Glad to hear it worked out, Rick.

And I'm sure EKat didn't really mean it when she said "You're bummin' me out!"

I had a screening colonoscopy last year, which came up clean. Well worth the effort. I had a sedative, but woke up part way through and got to watch the fun on TV. The stuff they give you beforehand, to clean you out, is less fun, but necessary.

My doctor says the single most helpful medical thing most of us male young-forever healthy climber types can do for ourselves is get an annual physical.
Rokjox

Trad climber
boys, I dunno.
Jan 28, 2008 - 09:51am PT
And car salesmen say its "buy a new car".

Mungeclimber

Trad climber
sorry, just posting out loud.
Jan 28, 2008 - 10:12am PT
Rokjox, be that as it may, stay healthy.

be sure to vote for the candidate that will address your issues this coming election.
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Jan 28, 2008 - 10:26am PT
Well BV, I don't know what an endoscopy is but it SOUNDS like a colonoscopy!



Never could understand why some people consider items inserted there as "recreation", but it takes all kinds. I've known some women,...well lets not go there.

Annual physicals seem bad enough, and I hate the surgery type fasting/ cleansing routine but I know you are right about it Rick, and good for you for catching it, and heal up fast.
In fact I'm making an appointment to have one,....soon.



Funny (true) story regarding aforementioned recreation;
a friend is an ER doc in Boulder where an adult male came in with an apple stuck in his rectum. My friend inquired of the patient how the condition developed (like he HAD to ask!).

The patient stated that he was eating an apple in the shower and slipped.
eeyonkee

Trad climber
Golden, CO
Jan 28, 2008 - 10:28am PT
Good luck, Rick. I just had my first one a few months ago. Piece of cake. I remember distinctly the very last word I said to the doctor before I went under and then woke up an hour later and it was all over. Luckily, I had no polyps.
Mighty Hiker

Social climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Jan 28, 2008 - 10:32am PT
A climber friend wasn't so lucky - excellent health, early 50s, etc. Started to have stomach problems, went for tests, eventually found colorectal cancer. They chopped out a bunch of his colon, a fairly serious operation. He had a colostomy bag for a while, until they could hook up the plumbing bag again, and his stomach and digestion have never completely got back to normal.

No family history of such problems, just out of the blue. His immediate family members now all have to get regular colonoscopies, as a preventive thing.
Festus

Social climber
Enron by the Sea
Jan 28, 2008 - 10:42am PT
Thanks, Rick, I'm one of those in the ballpark, and it brings up choice some of us may face.

Had a sigmoidoscopy done a few years ago, 'cuz my health plan GP said that was plenty good enough. Having read a little since, I'm not sure I buy that entirely, but's it's a big insurance/cash issue for those without excellent insurance or savings. Bottom line for healthcare providers (and those of us in HMOs, etc.) is that one procedure (colonoscopy) is much more expensive than what I had done, but it is more thorough and effective in spotting trouble.

The questions then are: How much more effective? .5%, 5%, 20%? Should I demand a colonoscopy and/or pay the difference out of my own pocket?

Any docs, healthcare pros, or procedure veterans care to weigh in on this one? You might save a few of us!
taco bill

Trad climber
boulder, co
Jan 28, 2008 - 10:45am PT
Get healthy Rick. My father in law has been going through the same thing. Glad you caught it early.

Adam
scuffy b

climber
Stump with a backrest
Jan 28, 2008 - 11:56am PT
Good Luck, Rick.
Of course, everyone should be going for the procedure.
My biggest complaint is that I get a fairy tale beforehand,
regarding the leadup and my interaction with the
anaesthesiologist.
Every time I have gone into general anaesthesia, there has been
no warning, I've never been informed that the drugs have been
applied. Nothing about counting backwards or anything.
It's just this. They wheel me into a room, then I wake up
somewhere else.
Does that sound like I'm getting my money's worth?

(they always tell me something will happen, like, "We're giving
you some Sodium Pentothal now")
Bart Fay

Social climber
Redlands, CA
Jan 28, 2008 - 12:23pm PT
I am seriously going to ask the anesthesiologist to bring it on slowly next time. That's gotta
be one of the best feelings, that slipping out of consciousness. Pity that you
only get to feel it for a few short seconds.

Endoscopy is more fun in that regard. They take you down slowly so they can better keep
you in twilight as you need to move around to accommodate the scope. But, there is the
down side of the constant gagging from having a .55in tube 36inches down your throat.
I've only had six of those. :-) )-:
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Jan 28, 2008 - 12:33pm PT
Ahah!!

So it is a misleading term.
An endoscopy is really a beginningoscopy.
Rick A

climber
Boulder, Colorado
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 28, 2008 - 12:37pm PT
Thanks for all the support, everyone.

I wanted to post this because of my own delay in getting the procedure. I was approaching 53 before I got around to it. So, I can tell you from experience that it is something that is very easy to keep at the bottom of the to-do list.

Abe- I will borrow your Dadís line, thanks. Reminds me of a famous saying about opera, (Mark Twain perhaps?) something like, ď Opera would be wonderful, except for all the singing.Ē
Mighty Hiker

Social climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Jan 28, 2008 - 12:53pm PT
Nice one, Ron! To add to it:

An endoscopy is really a beginningoscopy, but a :oscopy comes before the end.

For some, these procedures are periodicoscopies.
Blinny

Trad climber
NWMontana
Jan 28, 2008 - 01:30pm PT
And. . . yes. . . Mighty, I meant bummin' me out.. . it really bums me out when pals have to go through this kind of stuff. . . I wish great health and painless lives to everybody and it bums my trip when it doesn't work all the time!

I think Ricky got what I meant.

:-)

KEEP THE MAGIC ALIVE!

eKat
Rick A

climber
Boulder, Colorado
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 28, 2008 - 01:46pm PT
Kath,
Thanks for the vibes!
I understood exactly what you meant. I was likewise bummed, bigtime! It was harshing my mellow like you wouldn't believe.

Rick
Blinny

Trad climber
NWMontana
Jan 28, 2008 - 01:49pm PT
Kisses to Ricky!

oxox

Kath
rmsusa

Trad climber
Boulder
Jan 28, 2008 - 01:55pm PT
Had mine a couple of weeks ago. Fentanyl and Versed make it easy. On my first, five years ago, they discovered a couple of non-cancerous polyps, so I had to go back in 5 years. This time I'm clean. They increased the interval to 10 years. Won't have to drink that stuff for a while.

My uncle died of colon cancer at 70. These days, this is an entirely preventable disease. By the time you have symptoms, it's usually a bit late. See the American Cancer Society website for guidelines.
k-man

Gym climber
SCruz
Jan 28, 2008 - 02:00pm PT
Ride the Willy Stick!!!
TradIsGood

Chalkless climber
the Gunks end of the country
Jan 28, 2008 - 02:02pm PT
Roger, I am not a doctor, but if I recall correctly PSA is a measurement used to detect prostate cancer. Kind of down there, but different.

roslyn

Trad climber
washington
Jan 28, 2008 - 02:05pm PT
just had a colonoscopy last year. my dad has a history of polyps. relatively painless procedure, but like mighty hiker, i was sedated, but woke up near the end of the procedure. Got a good look at the old colon.


people seem to not want to talk about the workings of the lower bowels..............too embarassing! Cancer is way worse than a little embarassment.
Jaybro

Social climber
The West
Jan 28, 2008 - 02:07pm PT
This is all too familiar. A good friend of mine, an Epidemiologist of a populus state, is vehement on this point.

"It's a leading causde of death in guys our age, and it's completely preventible! Don't settle for the sig, get the whole colonoscopy!"

Brings up a related point. As a recent Kaiser initiate I have to pick a family Doctor, before anything else. Suggestions I'm looking for someone who understands the concept of the senior athelete/adventurer.. Like steve Hong if he lived here and hadn't switched to dermatolgy.

Suggestions? ones to avoid?
I'm in the SF East Bay area; Shadelands/Walnut Creek would be optimal, but I do own a car.
jstan

climber
Jan 28, 2008 - 02:42pm PT
Roger:
If your PSA is increasing, get it checked out.
Anguish

Mountain climber
Jackson Hole Wyo.
Jan 28, 2008 - 02:53pm PT
Last year, at 54, urged on by the death of a friend to colon cancer and the work of Katie Couric (she had a colonoscopy on TV after her hubby died of colon cancer), I went in for one. The found 4 polyps and removed them. One had the potential to be precancerous. I go back a year after, this spring, for a follow up.
Cost: Doc said it would be about a grand, but beware. Total cost, only some of which was paid for by insurance went approximately like this (resort town pricing...)
Colonoscopy - $1,000
OR - about $1,000
Anesthesia - $700
Pathology (biopsy) $900
I asked the Doc whether I was late, and he said no. But I could have been.
Don't delay, boys and girls. Start saving some money if you don't have insurance. It is likely worth it.
Roger Breedlove

climber
Cleveland Heights, Ohio
Jan 28, 2008 - 03:28pm PT
Hi John,

I did. I had a biopsy. (Odd sounding spring loaded gun for four 2mm by 25mm core samplers.) Anyway, results were all negative. Back in a year.

How are you doing, you old goat. Do you remember your fifties? He, he.

Happy New Year.

All the best, Roger

Edit: Sorry I missed your comment, TradIsGood. I was confusing prostate and colon cancer.
Mighty Hiker

Social climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Jan 28, 2008 - 03:29pm PT
In Canada, at least in B.C., it's a two stream process. If your GP determines that a colonoscopy is medically required, e.g. due to family history, symptoms, or other reasons, then it's basically free. You may have to wait a bit, but you get it at the hospital.

If it's not medically necessary, i.e. just a good idea, then you can get one for about $1,000 total at a semi-private clinic, fairly quickly. You can claim the cost on your income tax.

Naturally there are complex debates over what is and isn't medically necessary. A few years ago, I had a PSA that was a bit high - I get one annually. Usually I have to pay for it. However, having once shown as high, the next few were without charge.

Pretty much all B.C. citizens pay medical insurance premiums to the government, in my case about $1,000/year. Often covered in part by employers. Premiums much less for those under 19 or over 65. We sometimes have to wait for certain procedures, particularly those that are elective, and there are lots of incidental fees that can add up. But as we live longer and are healthier than peoples in most countries (by World Health Organization measures), that says something.
Festus

Social climber
Enron by the Sea
Jan 28, 2008 - 03:34pm PT
Okay, I stuck my question into Google and came up with this. Pretty good overview of the options/reccomendations:

http://www.genetichealth.com/CRC_Colonoscopy_Versus_Sigmoidoscopy.shtml
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Jan 28, 2008 - 03:50pm PT
I'm not sure that riding the Willy stick is a prophylactic measure, but it certainly offers potential to those that lack more conventional means at their disposal. :)
dirtineye

Trad climber
the south
Jan 28, 2008 - 04:15pm PT
Yeah I'm an expert alright.

More of em than I care to count, anyway.

There is a thread here I wrote about now to survive your colonscopy in as much comfort as possible, it's pretty good. In fact, I gave it to my gastroenterologist cause he liked it.

Sigmoidoscopy is BS, get the colonoscopy, cause it covers more ground, going all the way to the beginning of the small bowel.

Endoscopy is fun too.

You guys who are waking up before it's over, you got lousy docs!!!

I've been awake for one endo and one colonsocopy, because I hate Versed.

The usual drugs here are versed and demerol, why they are using fentonyl for these procedures I don't understand. Fentonyl is WAY more powerful than morphine or even dilaudid. It's so strong they measure doses in micrograms, not the normal milligrams.


Anyway, the important thing about colonoscopies is, get one if there is ANY doubt. Waiting til 50 is too late for some, as it was for me ( I got diagnosed with cancer from a polyp in the cecum when I was 42, and it had been growing for a while).

The second important thing is, FORGET About the cost, cause even if you pay 4k for one, if it catches precancerous polyps, then you are done right there that day, and you'll never know the problem existed in any tangible way.

However, if you get colon cancer, you are looking at major surgery, probably chemo, and possible recurrence.

The surgery will cost you at least 30K, but the chemo will cost you way way more. IF you want to be REALLY miserable, take chemo. And BTW, the success rate for the best treatments for colon cancer is about 50%. Some are 20% effective.

So, the relatively small cost of a colonoscopy is easy to justify for what you get.


To the OP, I hope you have a good oncologist, who will tell you all the options and treat you like a person. I had one like that, but I've heard some awful stories.

Don't miss your follow ups. You should have a colonoscopy every 6 months for a while. After 5 years you will be considered cured. Don't believe it! Keep getting screened. My third recurrence showed up 2 years ago (8 years after the first instance, 7 after the second), and it had to be growing for a while. At 5 years I looked clean on scans. SO between 5 and 7 years after my second, I started a third one. If it had been caught at the beginning, I'd be in a lot better shape.

As it is now, I'm a guinea pig, looking for an experimental protocol, with two years of surgery, chemo, complications and misery behind me.

So, take heed, 5 years is NOT cured. That term actually comes from the 50's, when there was almost no success, so 5 years was arbitrarily set as a goal to aim for, as once upon a time, if you lived 5 years after discovery it was a miracle.




Good luck with your path report. I hope you don't have to take chemo.
Big Breasted Woman

Trad climber
The Brown Crack
Jan 28, 2008 - 05:41pm PT

Ah yes, the old colonoscopy. I'm due for my second one shortly! Really isn't all that bad. The absolute worst part is drinking that freakin' Step and Go Lightly that makes you do the Mexican Hat Dance to the to loo! UGH! I'll never drink anything cherry flavoured again!
Bldrjac

Ice climber
Boulder
Jan 28, 2008 - 07:07pm PT
Hey Rick, Pam here! Sorry to hear about your troubles...nasty stuff!!! Glad your prognosis is positive. I'll try to talk Jack into it, but without insurance......even check-ups are prohibitively expensive!
I know you'll be back on the rock and in the waves soon!
cheers,
Pam
Anastasia

Trad climber
Califlower
Jan 28, 2008 - 07:12pm PT
Happy you caught it early!
I always said it is better to be safe than sorry. Even if your colonoscopy turns out completely clear, isn't it nice to "know" you are fine?
I am wishing you a fast recovery!
See ya' on the mountains!
AF
Michael Kennedy

Social climber
Carbondale, Colorado
Jan 28, 2008 - 08:09pm PT
Rick,

Sorry to hear about the scare, and good luck!

Getting old is no fun, but getting these routine tests is always a good idea.

Great skiing over here in the Roaring Fork valley, so if you want to get away for a few days, let me know ... lots of fun to be had.

Michael Kennedy
Bldrjac

Ice climber
Boulder
Jan 28, 2008 - 09:37pm PT
Rick,

sorry to hear you got "BIT" by the CC but glad you're better.
I'm only a few years older than you and haven't had my checkup.
Probably don't need to right? I'm fine.........

Here's to a speedy and complete recovery. I should drop by while you are recovering and show you some old pictures from the alps.

Cheers,
JACK
Todd Gordon

Trad climber
Joshua Tree, Cal
Jan 28, 2008 - 09:43pm PT
Glad you are O K, Rick;.....I am the same age as you, I believe;.....I'm on it;......thanks for the heads up an reality check for us "old dads."
Crimpergirl

Social climber
St. Looney
Jan 28, 2008 - 09:51pm PT
I will add to the long list of well wishers. So happy it's turned out well. Take care of yourself!
Bruce Morris

Social climber
Belmont, California
Jan 28, 2008 - 09:53pm PT
Shouldn't you have your stool checked in the lab every couple of years? That's the way Kaiser does it. If the lab finds blood, then you go in for the general anesthetic and reaming. Otherwise, another test in a couple of years.
Oli

Trad climber
Fruita, Colorado
Jan 28, 2008 - 11:07pm PT
Well, Rick, you and Gerry are my good friends, so you can imagine my concern but also relief that you seem to be doing better. I have been told I need one of those procedures, but the nature of my diabetes is that I have very serious dropouts when I don't have enough food in me. If I were to flush my system and fast, I would likely have one of those horrid dropouts and be in dire straits. I had such a dropout a while back while driving and had forgotten to bring food. Fortunately I was passing a gas station and pulled in, ran into the store, and started gorging twinkies, prior to even paying for them. I simply threw my wallet to the clerk, and fortunately pulled out of that hell. Another occasion, while taking a bath, I had one of those, and could just barely get out of the tub and crawl out on hands and knees, fighting off passing out, to get some juice. It's about the worst feeling I know, when one of those things hits. One day I got a dropout right in the middle of a sparring session at karate and, fortunately, raced out into the hall and got some candy out of a machine that saved me... My black belt student said I literally turned white instantly. I just can't imagine fasting and flushing my system and that it wouldn't be the end of me... Anyway, I'm glad you are getting through all this. You are such a great friend.

Pat
SteveW

Trad climber
Denver, CO
Jan 29, 2008 - 12:13pm PT
The actual procedure's a piece of cake as everyone
says. Good drugs. But the prep really sucks. I don't
mind the fast, but drinking that crap to clean you out
is cruel and unusual punishment. I can't even get it
down before it's back up through the esophagous. An
enema would be so much easier. . .
Bart Fay

Social climber
Redlands, CA
Jan 29, 2008 - 01:49pm PT
Pat-

I am strong in the ways of denial and excuses. Donít let your diabetes lead you to
colon cancer. You well know that diabetics have more health problems than regular folk.

The fast is not a complete fast. Its just a one or two days of broth, jello, and
clear-ish liquids. They do have a unique fasting prep diet for the burgeoning
legion of American diabetics. Some solid foods that are light colored and the right
texture are allowed.
mooser

Trad climber
seattle
Jan 30, 2008 - 07:05am PT
I'm really sorry to hear about this development, Rick, and very grateful that you were able to catch it in time. Scary stuff, and it sounds like you're dealing with it really well. You're still one of my climbing heroes, having saved our butts (with Graham) on Tahquitz 30-plus years ago. You got the right stuff! My very best wishes for a speedy and complete recovery,

Tom Patterson
Rick A

climber
Boulder, Colorado
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 30, 2008 - 10:56am PT
Kath-Kisses right back at ya!
Pat-Gerry and I look forward to getting together soon. Some good advice here about accommodations for diabetics. Check it out with your doctor.
Jack and Pam-I am at home all week. Drop by anytime.
Michael- I will take try to take you up on that as soon as I am able. I would love to have a tour of a BC classic or do a run with you on the amazing Highlands Bowl.
Todd-I am glad I was able to motivate you to get the test. Itís a piece of cake. The best tip I got was taking a bite out of a lime after each glass of the prep solution. It removes the aftertaste.

And to everyone , thanks again for the kind words and thoughts. I hope to see you all this year in the mountains.
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
sorry, just posting out loud.
Apr 13, 2008 - 11:44pm PT
http://health.msn.com/health-topics/cancer/articlepage.aspx?cp-documentid=100199920>1=31025

wasn't sure where to post, but thought I would share this brief article I saw tonight.

cancer is a f*#ked up thing. Little kids shouldn't have to go through chemo, and neither should 'old dads'.

to your health,
M

healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Apr 16, 2008 - 03:55am PT
[url="http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/04/080414155256.htm" target="new"]Science Daily 4/16/2008 - Effective Colon Cancer Prevention Treatment Discovered[/url]
Lost Arrow

Trad climber
The North Ridge of the San Fernando
Apr 16, 2008 - 06:42am PT
I watched my friend die of colon cancer. He got it at 45 and it had already spread to his liver. I saw him a few days before he died and he looked like an Autswitz survivor.

Brunosafari

Boulder climber
Redmond, OR
Apr 16, 2008 - 08:35am PT
Rest up Rick and I know we are all so truly glad you're fine. And you've talked me into the colonoscopy. Super great to see the shots of you and Mike on the JT thread. -Bruce
Rick A

climber
Boulder, Colorado
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 16, 2008 - 11:50am PT
Bruce-Thanks much. Was hoping to see you there, but let's get together soon. Feeling fine, really.
Healyje-Thanks for the article. I hadn't seen that and it is right on point for me.

Rick
Raydog

Trad climber
Boulder Colorado
Apr 17, 2008 - 08:38pm PT
my sincere wishes for your better/best health, Rick
and thanks for the advice...
Really good idea.

Hope everything works out OK,

Ray
john hansen

climber
Apr 17, 2008 - 09:31pm PT


For some reason, high blood pressure or something , they had me take two tablespoons of "fleets' with 8 ounces of water.

The night before, and first thing in the morning.

Cleaned me right out, and I did not have to drink that "cherry cola".

The fasting part is kinda cool too.

rich sims

Trad climber
co
Jun 26, 2008 - 10:31pm PT
Rick
I will start off with saying thanks.
I have been putting if off for three years.
Your post was the kick in the butt I needed.
They only found two polyps; the doctor told my wife he would see me in five years.
Itís really not that bad folks if it is just and out.

Jeremy

Social climber
Hanging with your mom...
Jun 27, 2008 - 09:10am PT
Do it! It's fun!

Plus...when do you get the chance to see a color shot of your colon!!!! Suitable for framing...

WOOHOO!!!!!!!!!!!!

But really...the only part that sucks is squirting water out yer hole all day.

J
thedogfather

climber
Midwest
Jun 27, 2008 - 09:36am PT
I'm almost 59 and just got mine done this past Wednesday. I put it off too long but fortunately all is well. I don't remember seeing the cool color pics because your short term memory is shot for about 1/2 hour or so after you wake up. At least it was for me. They say you are medically intoxicated for 12 hours but I was climbing at the gym 4 hours later.
Mighty Hiker

Social climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Jun 27, 2008 - 09:53am PT
They're simply endless fun...
rockermike

Mountain climber
Berkeley
Jun 27, 2008 - 10:12am PT
Interestingly, Kaiser only does the short version of the inspection. I think they claim if no cancer is found in first foot or two of colon then vary unlikely there will be any higher up. Meanwhile they avoid the risks associated with full colonoscopies (perforated colon). Of course if you are one of the few with hidden cancer high up then your sh#t out of luck (no pun intended). That's medicine practiced by statisticians. And of course also Kaiser saves big bucks with simpler procedure.

Anyway, prevention is even better then early detection. Vegetarian diets rule.

http://www.medpagetoday.com/MeetingCoverage/DDWMeeting/tb/5707
Sketch

Trad climber
Langley, VA
Jun 27, 2008 - 10:21am PT
I feel so violated afterwards. :(
Mighty Hiker

Social climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Jan 19, 2009 - 06:21pm PT
There was an interesting article in the New York Times a month ago, about the effectiveness of screening colonoscopies. Two studies suggest that while still very worthwhile, they may not be quiet as effective as had been believed. More accurately, a lot depends on the skill and experience of the person doing the test.
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/16/health/16cancer.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=colonoscopy&st=cse

Edit: Rick had his colonoscopy a year ago. Todd is having one tomorrow, hence the bump.
TYeary

Mountain climber
Calif.
Jan 19, 2009 - 07:20pm PT
Geez, Rick.
Wishing you the best and a quick recovery. I have been putting mine off for 2 years now. Just got set up for it again.
Scary, I tell ya.
Good thoughts coming your way.
Tony
Karl Baba

Trad climber
Yosemite, Ca
Jan 19, 2009 - 08:05pm PT
I've had a cancerous growth up my bum hole for 8 years and they are finally removing it tomorrow.

It's an operation sadistically named "In-Auger-ation"

Hope it works or I'm hosed bad and plenty of us have suffered the same problem.

On another front, hope all of you with health problems get the best possible outcomes.

I have a client whose a Gastro-Doc and we've talked about the ins and outs of scoping a lot. He's Canadian and has mixed things to say about the Canadian System. Personally, I'm envious cause I'm almost 50, have basic insurance, and couldn't begin to afford the procedure here.

Of course, I consider that a mixed blessing as well.

Peace

Karl
Captain...or Skully

Social climber
North of the Owyhees
Jan 19, 2009 - 08:14pm PT
Over 50 is borrowed time.
Rick A

climber
Boulder, Colorado
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 19, 2009 - 08:51pm PT
Captain,
Itís all borrowed time.

Tony,
Thanks, but all is seemingly well. The surgery was almost exactly a year ago. I felt more or less back to normal about 6 weeks after.I get a followup colonoscopy in a couple of weeks. If that is ok, I will get one every five years or so and consider myself lucky to do so.

Karl-Best of luck on your operation . Weíre all hoping for success and a speedy recovery for you.

Todd- To paraphrase Abeís father up thread: piece of cake, except for the part where they put the plumberís snake up your ### .
dogtown

climber
Cheyenne,Wyoming
Jan 19, 2009 - 09:02pm PT
I have an appointment February 10 for one.

Rick is right do not put it off! Not fun, but it can save your life.


Bruce
Tami

Social climber
Vancouver, Canada
Jan 19, 2009 - 09:05pm PT
Trust Anders to find & ressurect this thread.
Karl - BEST OF OUTCOMES for your procedure.
Jaybro

Social climber
wuz real!
Jan 19, 2009 - 09:34pm PT
Oh I think many of us will be doing better in the short term, by and by. Or, after that massprocedure @ 8:30 tomorrow am western.

Though it really is my time for this particular pain beyond the arse,as mentioned by the OP. I'm 52.5 yrs old, back on full medical and have a best friend with a statistical bent, who will be sure to remind me, as he has in the past...

"It's the biggest killer of guys our age, and it's 100% preventible."

I've taken him to task for a number of things over the years, but I'm just going to have to bend over for this one...
dogtown

climber
Cheyenne,Wyoming
Jan 19, 2009 - 09:40pm PT
LOL Jay, good one.
east side underground

Trad climber
Hilton crk,ca
Jan 20, 2009 - 08:10am PT
I'm in, 48 yrs old got to "get er done"!!!
Gene

Social climber
Jul 30, 2010 - 07:32am PT
Had mine done yesterday. The worst part of the procedure, other than the infamous "prep," was getting the IV set. I remember chatting with the doctor a few minutes and then waking up post-procedure.

The key to a successful prep is a good book and at least two rolls of soft TP.

The "hole" thing ain't that bad. Do it! I procrASStinated to almost age 58. Don't put it off like I did. If my polyp biopsy results come back clean, I'll feel I have dodged a bullet that I caused by waiting so long to get the colonoscopy done.

Gene
Todd Gordon

Trad climber
Joshua Tree, Cal
Jul 30, 2010 - 07:38am PT
I had one last year;....if inserted properly, the camera can be enjoyable.

Peek a boo.....(what a job;..sticking cameras up people's backdoor pipe)...

(Polyps, french fries, and a coke, please....)...
nature

climber
Tucson, AZ
Jul 30, 2010 - 08:00am PT
and a little prevention in the way of colonics isn't a bad idea either....

jbaker

Trad climber
Redwood City, CA
Jul 30, 2010 - 09:17am PT
I had mine done yesterday, as well. They found four polyps. I'm waiting to hear the results.

Considering how much time we all spend outside, it's also worth getting checked for skin cancer. I had a funky mole that I knew I should get checked out, and kept putting it off. Then a friend was diagnosed with malignant melanoma. He didn't have insurance, and by the time he got treated it was too late. I got mine checked, and it was also malignant. Luckily, they were able to get it all. If I'd waited much longer, it would have been bad news.
delendaest

Trad climber
San Francisco, CA
Jul 30, 2010 - 09:57am PT
there are a lot of things in medicine that are of dubious worth, but colonoscopies (and pap smears for the ladies) save lives, no question.
Bldrjac

Ice climber
Boulder
Jul 30, 2010 - 12:21pm PT
Rick,

you'll be glad to know I'm getting mine done in three weeks......WHEE! I can hardly wait.
Looking forward to this with about as much anticipation as doing the Bacher-Yerian.
Need to do it but want it to be over with..............

JACK
Brokedownclimber

Trad climber
Douglas, WY
Jul 30, 2010 - 03:23pm PT
delendaest;

Don't forget mammograms for the Ladies and PSA tests for the Laddies. Definitely need a PSA every year over 50. In addition to the traditional "finger wave."
Fritz

Trad climber
Hagerman, ID
Jul 30, 2010 - 08:57pm PT
OK! Two years ago" I went shopping for best local price on a colonoscopy.

I wrote this article for a local newpaper.

Shopping Endoscopy/Gastroenterology Clinics.

As many people discover, one of the joys of aging is having your physician strongly recommend really expensive medical tests.

This last summer I finally gave up and decided to submit to a Colonoscopy. This simple, but expensive, outpatient procedure explores your colon looking for signs of colon cancer.

Colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States, accounting for about 20 percent of all cancer deaths. This year alone, more than 131,000 Americans will be diagnosed with colon cancer, and 56,000 will die from it.

Colon cancer is also one of the most curable types of cancer, if it is diagnosed early. When detected at its earliest stages, chances for a cure are as high as 90 percent. There are several excellent screening and diagnostic methods to detect colon cancer early.

The key to successful colon cancer treatment is finding the cancer at an early stage, before it has spread to surrounding tissues and organs. Most colon cancers develop from polyps, small growths found inside the intestine. Keep in mind, though, that most polyps are not cancerous.

The goal of screening for colon cancer is twofold: to detect early-stage cancerous tumors; and to detect and remove benign polyps, which may develop into colon cancer.

Colonoscopy: This procedure offers the best chance to detect and prevent colon cancer, according to leading research studies. A Colonoscopy is similar to a flexible sigmoidoscopy, except the instrument is longer because your doctor will be viewing your entire colon. You will be given a mild sedative to make you comfortable. Attachments on the end of the tube enable your doctor to remove a small tissue sample if one is needed for a biopsy.

I had been referred to the only Endoscopy clinic in Twin Falls,ID that performs Colonoscopies. Since I am self-employed and pay for my own insurance, which is a high deductible PPO (preferred provider organization) Blue Cross policy, I always like to know how much a medical procedure is going to cost me.

When I showed up for my pre-procedure screening in Twin Falls, I was immediately told that my Blue Cross PPO insurance would not lower the cost of my Colonoscopy. I knew with my high-deductible policy, I would have to out-of-pocket the whole price for the procedure. I then asked how much my Colonoscopy would cost and was informed that I could not have that information until after my pre-procedure exam.

So, I had the exam, which was only a few minutes long and mainly covered my medical history (cost $143.00). I then got to talk to the money person at the clinic about the cost of my Colonoscopy. It was explained that cost was very difficult to quote, since it would depend entirely on what the physician found during the Colonoscopy. When I persisted in asking for a quote, I was told that price for the basic Colonoscopy would be $2,200.00.

After I recovered from the shock, I canceled the appointment for the Colonoscopy and called my insurance company, Blue Cross. I asked them what they reimbursed physicians for a Colonoscopy procedure and was told that information was confidential. All they could do was give me a list of physicians in Idaho that did charge their ďPPO-Preferred Provider OrganizationĒ rates.

I did some internet research and discovered others have found that it can be rather difficult to get quotes for medical procedures from physician offices.

However one columnist for the Colorado Springs Business Journal had persisted and found a Endoscopy center that allowed him to pay about $1,000.00 cash up-front for a Colonoscopy. On-line articles about Colonoscopy costs quoted figures as low as $500.00 and as high as $1,500.00.

Somewhat encouraged, I started calling Boise Endoscopy centers. My best experience was with Idaho Endoscopy Center. They would charge Blue Cross PPO prices (whatever those were?). Better yet their financial manager actually called back and negotiated with me. I would have to pay $1,000.00 cash in advance, and would be billed any additional charges.

The pre-appointment screening could be done over the phone, thus saving an extra trip to Boise. My physician was contacted and gave me a referral.

Total time in the clinic was about two hours. I was given a mild sedative and found the procedure painless. The clinic did insist I have another adult along to drive me home. My colon was clean as a whistle, so the cost for the procedure was the minimum amount. If the physician has to remove polyps the price can increase substantially.

Total cost after Blue Cross PPO adjustments was $1,359.14.

Iím glad I went shopping.

By the way: if you have read this far! The U.S. medical and insurance system is "a real piece of work."
stevep

Boulder climber
Salt Lake, UT
Jul 30, 2010 - 11:13pm PT
To add my voice to this one...I was in roughly the same boat as Rick A. Maybe a little further along, Stage II for for me. Had surgery and 5 months of preventative chemo. That was last year. I was 40. So far so good. Pretty high likelihood I'm over and done with it.

Wouldn't have caught it except for some bad diarrhea that wouldn't go away. After several rounds of various antibiotics didn't do anything, I was convinced to get a colonoscopy. Malignancy found, 5 days later I was in surgery getting part of me cut out.

So even for those of you under 50, if you've got a family history, or weird bowel stuff going on, get it done. My insurer, United Health, now covers them as preventative medicine and pays in full with no deductible or copay.
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Jul 30, 2010 - 11:48pm PT
There was a note about this in the NYT the other day, about the percentage of Americans who get screening colonoscopies, and who.
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/27/health/research/27screening.html?scp=1&sq=colorectal&st=cse

Fritz' experience was interesting. In BC, the way it works right now is that if you are in a higher-risk group, you get sent for a screening colonscopy every ten years. Higher-risk = heredity, personal medical history, etc. If you're in the 'average' group, then if you want one, you have to pay for it yourself. I had one a few years ago, and it cost about $1,000. My MD said it was a good idea, said I wasn't in a higher-risk group, and off I went. It's not a 'real' surgical procedure, so was at the doctor's office/clinic, as with many relatively minor things.

The debate here now is whether MSP (our single-payer system) should cover screening colonoscopies for everyone every ten years from age 50. The economic studies indicate it would be an effective investment, so it seems likely it will happen.
Karl Baba

Trad climber
Yosemite, Ca
Jul 30, 2010 - 11:52pm PT
Nice contribution Fritz

I think it's criminal that the medical establishment won't quote prices, especially when prices are high. You can bet they buy nothing for themselves without knowing the price in advance.

And with medical expenses being the prime driver of a majority of bankruptcies, reform is badly needed.

Getting up the backside is bad enough without getting up the backside when the bill comes

Peace

Karl
delendaest

Trad climber
San Francisco, CA
Jul 31, 2010 - 08:23am PT
the utility of PSA testing is very much debatable and a reflection of the fact that the vast majority of prostate cancers are very slowly growing and unlikely to cause death. in the largest trials to date its been shown that a huge number of patients need to be treated (with resulting incontinence, impotence, etc) in order to extend the life of one person.

from the new england journal of medicine, summarizing the largest trial to date: "This means that 1410 men would need to be screened and 48 additional cases of prostate cancer would need to be treated to prevent one death from prostate cancer....PSA-based screening reduced the rate of death from prostate cancer by 20% but was associated with a high risk of overdiagnosis."

the data on mammograms is also mixed, with recommendations moving back the recommended age to start screening. this is also a reflection of the fact that mammograms were picking up too many benign lesions resulting in unnecessary surgeries.
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Jul 31, 2010 - 08:31am PT
People who want a colonoscopy and vacation package might consider Chile. Medical care in Santiago is the best in Latin America. Procedures in Chile cost a fraction of what they are in the US. The savings in a colonoscopy would more than cover your plane costs to this beautiful country.
Brokedownclimber

Trad climber
Douglas, WY
Jul 31, 2010 - 08:36am PT
The major advantage of the PSA testing is it is "non-invasive" and is usually accompanied by the classic "finger-up-the-bum" exam when the physician reviews the results with you. It's also a pretty inexpensive (as medical testing goes) procedure.

The mammogram is of more questionable utility, and depends on the trained eye of the radiologist.
Dr.Sprock

Boulder climber
I'm James Brown, Bi-atch!
Jul 31, 2010 - 10:06am PT
it was embare ass ing seeing one of my butt plugs show up on the video monitor,

jstan

climber
Jul 31, 2010 - 10:52am PT
"the utility of PSA testing is very much debatable and a reflection of the fact that the vast majority of prostate cancers are very slowly growing and unlikely to cause death. "

The debate over the statistics has been going on for some time and the major players in that debate all have vested interests. I have not seen the problem as viewed by the afflicted as widely published. Friends and relatives of mine have died of this and it is not a pleasant way to go.

1. The PSA is a simple blood test costing very little. I think urologists believe the test's precision is better than it really is but if you see consistent increases in the data the next step is indicated.

2. A biopsy is an office procedure. If successful a Gleason score can be determined. At that point the decision is in the hands of the person most directly affected.

A good place to start once you have a Gleason score:
http://www.phoenix5.org/articles/Fortune96Grove.html

Many major advances have been made since Andy's article in 1996. The Johns Hopkins procedure avoiding nerve loss during surgery is now generally available. The majority of the people I know have been electing radiation treatment.
Gene

Social climber
Aug 4, 2010 - 02:04pm PT
If my polyp biopsy results come back clean, I'll feel I have dodged a bullet that I caused by waiting so long to get the colonoscopy done.

Just got the call. Biopsy was clean. Yaahoo!

Now go out and get it done my friends.

g
Gary

climber
Desolation Basin, Calif.
Aug 4, 2010 - 02:12pm PT
I had one done last year. As my girlfriend has always suspected, the pictures prove I'm the perfect as#@&%e.
Rick A

climber
Boulder, Colorado
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 17, 2012 - 07:47am PT
Just had a checkup (my third colonoscopy) four years after my surgery. In the three years since my last one, I had grown more pre-cancerous polyps. However, they were found and removed early enough so that they should have zero impact on my health going forward. Will be doing this routine every three years from now on.

This underscores the importance of early detection. Had I waited another few years before getting the first colonoscopy it could have been dire, indeed.

So this is a gentle, but urgent, reminder to my friends "d'un certain age" still putting it off.

Just get it done; it might be one of the best things you ever do for yourself and your family.

Rick
SteveW

Trad climber
The state of confusion
Mar 17, 2012 - 08:00am PT

Good to hear that news, Rick.
I'm getting my second one sometime this year. It's not the
procedure that's bad, it's the prep. Ugh!
Wade Icey

Trad climber
www.alohashirtrescue.com
Mar 17, 2012 - 08:17am PT
edit-


Glad to hear everything is going well for you Rick A.
Rick A

climber
Boulder, Colorado
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 17, 2012 - 08:41am PT
Wade-Sorry to hear that happened.

Here is a link with some information about applicable law and options.

http://healthinsurance.about.com/od/healthinsurancebasics/a/preexisting_conditions_overview.htm
Ian Gill

Big Wall climber
Redding, CA
Mar 17, 2012 - 09:40am PT
Glad to hear you're doing well Rick.

Your message is SO important! I had my colonoscopy when I was 47, due to a steadily increasing amount of blood emanating from my southern region (as polite a way as I can put it)

Yeah - a tumor the size of a golf ball. Nothing will stop you dead in your tracks like a cell phone call at work from your doctor saying "Yes, you have cancer, and it appears to be somewhat advanced".

Turned out it had spread to some lymph nodes as well. 2 major abdominal surgeries later and long story short - I just passed my 5 year remission mark 3 months ago - I'm lucky to be here and it has changed my perspective on life (I've lost 3 other immediate family members to cancer in the last 6 years).

A colonoscopy is no big deal, folks - you don't even feel it. So my older brother (it's just him and me left) went and got his done, and sure enough, had a few pre-cancerous polyps removed. His health insurance was not affected though.

Godspeed to ya, Rick, you're gonna be alright! Attitude is everything!
phylp

Trad climber
Millbrae, CA
Mar 17, 2012 - 10:19am PT
Bump for a vital message...
and best wishes to all of you who got scary news, but got it early.

One of my best friends kept putting his "after 50" colonoscopy off, and ignored symptoms until it was impossible to do so, and got the diagnosis of metastatic stage 4. He was dead within the year. We still miss him.
jstan

climber
Mar 17, 2012 - 10:40am PT
http://www.supertopo.com/climbers-forum/938315/RIP-Curt-Johnson-aka-Dirtineye
Credit: Jennie

Read the thread. You don't want this.

It is hell on wheels.
zip

Trad climber
pacific beach, ca
Mar 17, 2012 - 10:58am PT
have mine this thursday
cyndiebransford

climber
31 years in Joshua Tree, now Alaska
Jul 6, 2012 - 11:27am PT
I turned 55 in October and still had not had a colonoscopy, no insurance. I took a three month job with the school district here on the Kenai Peninsula and I had insurance with the job. Getting a colonoscopy was at the top of my list of things to do. It was scheduled for the 19th of June, my insurance was to end on the 30th. The exam got rescheduled to the 26th. As soon as I was able to understand what was happening in the recovery room my doctor told me I had a 12 centimeter mass in the lower colon and I would need a bowel resection to remove it. This was on a Tuesday, the surgery was scheduled for Friday. In between I had a CT scan and chest x-ray and a barrage of blood work completed. The CT scan did not show anything outside of the colon so I had a good attitude going into the surgery. The bowel resection went well, I had an epidural which stayed in place for three days. No pain at all. I was up and walking and feeling good in the hospital. I left the hospital on Tuesday, July 3rd to come home. The doctor said he had never sent anyone home with this surgery so early. I am feeling so good that I have to remind myself not to do everything that I would be doing regularly. Today I got the pathology report and it was a supersize polyp, no invasion of the colon wall, clean margins. I will not need any chemo or radiation. I just have to heal and have another colonoscopy in a year.
If I hadn't had the colonoscopy the doctor said I would have eventually had a bowel obstruction. I dodged a bullet this time.
Get your colonoscopy, it could save your life.
Rick A

climber
Boulder, Colorado
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 6, 2012 - 01:11pm PT
Yikes Cyndie!
So glad you're going to be ok.
Rick
cyndiebransford

climber
31 years in Joshua Tree, now Alaska
Jul 9, 2012 - 03:08pm PT
Bumping for the reminder to make your appointment for your colonoscopy.
cyndiebransford

climber
31 years in Joshua Tree, now Alaska
Jul 11, 2012 - 08:26pm PT
Anyone out there who is uncertain about having a colonoscopy read my story above and then make the appointment.
zBrown

Ice climber
chingadero de chula vista
Jul 11, 2012 - 08:32pm PT
cyndiebransford

Your post was very comforting to my wife's 85 year old mom. Her doctor ordered up a c-scope (very rare for someone that age) and some small cancer was detected. She just came out of surgery a couple hours ago with the cancer removed and no evidence of spread (ovaries, liver, ...)



Guck

Trad climber
Santa Barbara, CA
Jul 11, 2012 - 08:36pm PT
Rick,

The good side of your experience is that from now on you will be on cancer watch. That probably means an annual PET scan, which will be an insurance that if the cancer were to return, it will be caught right away before it can spread. I go through that ritual every year (in 2 weeks) with a bit of anxiety, but it if worth it. Get well!! Cordialy,

Phillip.
mark miller

Social climber
Reno
Jul 11, 2012 - 08:50pm PT
Rick can I get a reach around with that colonoscopy? I've hit that age and am awaiting the doctors recommendations for such an adventure. Glad your's ended so well.I'm afraid of heavy alcohol abuse and a history of colon cancer in my family ,I might be in for a sobering treat.
bryceman

Boulder climber
Joshua Tree, California
Jul 11, 2012 - 10:09pm PT
I never thought that climbing forums would be so liberal with their crack guides.

My father had a battle with the life changing crack buster a few years ago. You can imagine that I was worried when ordered by the Doc to attempt my first assent with the scope, fully exposed!

Last Friday was an interesting day at the clinic.

They said I did well.

I said, ď I guess practice does make perfect!Ē

No cancer.
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Jul 11, 2012 - 11:37pm PT
Bringing new meaning to the expression "on sight cracks".
Karl Baba

Trad climber
Yosemite, Ca
Jul 12, 2012 - 12:45am PT

I climb with a Gastro doc every year or two and have heard a lot of scope stories and made a fair about of scoping jokes.

The jokes on me later today

gulp

Karl
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Jul 12, 2012 - 07:36am PT
Happy Gallon of Gack Karl! LOL
Don Paul

Big Wall climber
Colombia, South America
Jul 12, 2012 - 07:37am PT
Thought this was going to be another Hankster thread. Never mind.
Don Mellor

climber
Jul 12, 2012 - 09:13am PT
Just did that route this morning. Easy. Not an on-sight, though, since I keep it on a five-year routine.
Fletcher

Trad climber
Fumbling towards stone
Sep 21, 2012 - 05:40pm PT
A bump for a good thing... since I just got mine done today (and all is well!). Still a bit foggy from the anesthesia. Folks this is an easy one to do and it's worth it, even if you have to pay out of pocket... I look at it like a new rope. By dad gum, they sure look expensive out of the gate, but when you consider the consequences of not having one, the cost is minuscule.

Thank you to all of you for this thread and to good ole crusty dirtineye, may he rest in peace. Because of you, my doctor didn't ask me to get this exam, I asked for it explicitly.

Cheers,
Eric
mrtropy

Trad climber
Nor Cal
Mar 3, 2013 - 08:25pm PT
Going in tomorrow... a couple of years late but better late than never.
mrtropy

Trad climber
Nor Cal
Mar 4, 2013 - 09:41am PT
Everything done and clean, now what to eat first.
TGT

Social climber
So Cal
Apr 25, 2013 - 06:42pm PT
A former colleague died last night after being diagnosed with colon cancer last February.

When there are symptoms it's too late!

He was only 53

Just out of coincidence another colleague was scoped yesterday and they removed polyps. Three years ago they also removed precancerous polyps and he's only in his 40's.

If you have a family history or just happen to loose the genetic lottery, 50 may be too late.
stevep

Boulder climber
Salt Lake, UT
Apr 25, 2013 - 07:21pm PT
Yes, if there's any family history, don't wait.
I had some family history, and had a few symptoms of what I thought was giardia.
My wife convinced me to go in for a scope. Stage 2 cancer. Had a section removed, some preventative chemo. This was 4 years ago when I was 40. So far so good, but you better believe that I am having regular checks from here on out.
Most colon cancers are fairly slow growing. So if you catch them early enough, you're probably going to be fine. My odds at stage 2 were better than 90% survival. But don't wait.
losbill2

climber
Jun 7, 2013 - 08:33am PT
BUMP

I'm 62

Got my second routine exam yesterday five years after my first one. No big deal.

My brother is 59. Never had an exam. Recently experienced over a period of a couple of weeks abdominal pain. Diagnosed with colorectal cancer (CRC), had surgery, just finished second of 13 biweekly chemotherapy treatments he will have over 6 months, which gets him a 50:50 5-year chance of survival.

Although nothing in life is certain, it is likely had he had a colonoscopy at 50 as recommended by the American Cancer Society he would not be dealing with a potentially fatal disease today.

Clinical trials are hard to do and the data are hard to interpret. Nevertheless it would seem that getting a colonoscopy reduces your chance of dying of CRC by 70% to 90%.

I think that means if you currently have a ticking-bomb, deadly adenoma in your intestines that has a 100% chance of killing you getting an colonoscopy will reduce that chance to 10% to 30%.

The bottom line is that it is a no-big-deal, life-saving medical exam.

Read the thread.

Get it done.
J. Werlin

Social climber
Cedaredge, CO
Jun 7, 2013 - 08:42am PT
A friend's dad just died after an 8 year fight with colon cancer. It wasn't pretty. If you have (had) colitis you are at higher risk for colon cancer so make sure to get it done.

Costa Rica has great rates on colonoscopies.
kennyt

climber
Woodfords,California
Jun 7, 2013 - 08:59am PT
I'm goin in on the 18th not really lookin forward to it.
Big Breasted Woman

Trad climber
The Brown Crack
Jun 7, 2013 - 09:23am PT
Aw heck! I just had mine about a month ago. The worst part is drinking that freakin' "Step and Go Lightly" crap (or whatever the heck it is they call it). Once you drink it, you won't be stepping, you'll be doing the River Dance dash to the bathroom! :) I still loathe the idea of getting this done but it's really not that bad and it can save yer hide. Lost my mom to colon cancer years ago. The docs said if she'd only had a colonoscopy a couple of years before she started having problems, they could have saved her. Point taken!
quantum7

Trad climber
Squamish
Jun 7, 2013 - 10:27am PT
I'm 40 and just had to do one because my dad in his sixties is fighting a battle now with cancer. If he had done the colonoscopy earlier or if his doctor had advised him to do so, he most likely would not be in this situation. Now, he has a permanent colostomy that has changed his life. He was very athletic and can't do so many of the things he used to, partially because he has to wear a damn bag on his abdomen. It's so much easier to get the colonoscopy than to try to wear a harness with a colostomy!
mrtropy

Trad climber
Nor Cal
Jun 7, 2013 - 10:32am PT
No big deal Kenny like everyone says the worst is fasting the day before and drinking that stuff to make you pee out your butt.
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
And every fool knows, a dog needs a home, and...
Jun 7, 2013 - 01:35pm PT
Well.... (in terms of big deal)

There are two, no three methods of pain control for these procedures.

1. Sedation. You're out like a light, and they do with you what they will.
2. Partial sedation - lights on, you're aware but (supposedly) can't feel the goings-on.
3. A rubber bite gag... enjoy the ride.


The difference between 1 and 2? According to my Dr., the difference is what will the insurance company pay. Mine for example wouldn't pay for #1. So I 'elected' for option 2.

They established an IV and then put something in it... don't recall what. I felt a bit loosey goosey, all relaxed and what have you.

Then the insertion began. Still no problem. Then they pushed it in like a foot or more and literally blow air up your a*#, to expand gthe colon, smooth out the wrinkles etc.

I wasn't sedated enough.

OwowowowowowowowowowowowowowowowowowowowowwowahahahahahahaAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAaaa!!!!!

The Dr. is all...

'give him more give him more give him more give him more give him more give him more give him more give him more give him more give him more ' as I was starting to buck.

Its f*#king HURT!

The nurse got another vial of that blessed water and released it into my blood. 10-seconds later bliss had returned.

Make sure they give you enough of the goddamn pain medication. You don't want the procedure I HAD.

They found 5 pre-cancerous polyps in me... its no joke. Now I gotta go back every year (if I can afford it). Can't wait for the next drill!

DMT
Big Breasted Woman

Trad climber
The Brown Crack
Jun 7, 2013 - 02:19pm PT
Jeez Dingus! Talk about being "rode hard and put away wet!" What a literal "pain in the arse" you had! The first pooper scooper I had, they pretty much had me out cold EXCEPT for the very end where I heard the doc say, "O.K., we just have to turn the last corner and we're done". Yeah, right! He must have done a 4 wheel skid and bounced off my colon wall 'cuz I definitely felt that little jab. The most recent one I just had, they just knocked me out with some incredible IV juice. Weee! Oh!!
I asked the nurse if this was a new protocol and she said, "Yes." Apparently too many patients were complaining of pain with the partial sedation. Remember when they filmed Katie Couric having her colonosopy years ago? She was still talking and watching the whole thing on a big screen TV! The heck with that! Gimme the drugs!!
cyndiebransford

climber
Kenai Peninsula, Alaska
Jun 25, 2013 - 04:52pm PT
I am having my one year follow-up tomorrow. Prep day today, that is the worst of it. Hoping for good results, I don't want a repeat of last year.

Everyone should git er done! A colonoscopy could save your life.
rSin

Trad climber
calif
Jun 25, 2013 - 05:03pm PT
must be nice having a choice as to whether to get one or not...


most americans dont
Cragman

Trad climber
June Lake, California....via the Damascus Road
Jun 25, 2013 - 05:25pm PT
Easy peasy.

Drink the juice and go with the flow.

That funky drug they give ya is the SHIZZ!!! Last thing I told the Doc..."I'm ready for my close-up, Mr. DeMille."

Journey to the center of the Earth....but....pass on the take home video.
Ghost

climber
A long way from where I started
Jun 25, 2013 - 05:37pm PT
Unconsciousness is definitely the way to deal with the steel eel.
monolith

climber
SF bay area
Jun 25, 2013 - 05:42pm PT
Extremely dumb and dangerous advice, specialistclimber.
rSin

Trad climber
calif
Jun 25, 2013 - 05:45pm PT
just what is the symptom or sign of a polup?!?!?
losbill2

climber
Jun 25, 2013 - 06:13pm PT
must be nice having a choice as to whether to get one or not...
most americans dont

Speaking very personally I am very lucky to have medical insurance coverage from an employer and to make a relatively decent living. I do not regret for one second my tax dollars going to provide medical care to my fellow citizens. I have been a regular contributor to Doctors Without Borders for many years. It galls the hell out of me and saddens me to no end that here in my country with the wealth, resources and blessings that we have that so many fellow citizens do not have access to the most basic of medical care.

That said, I do believe, although I may be wrong, that come 1/1/14 the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will make available affordable medical insurance for many,many currently uncovered individuals and colonoscopies are one of the tests considered to be basic and effective medical care.

For all that are currently covered or can scrape together the $600 or so needed to get it done, consider yourself damn lucky and get it done.
rSin

Trad climber
calif
Jun 26, 2013 - 03:15am PT
6 bill?!?!??

thats doable in my case. lucky i gota few skills i can barter
last enquired was told it was 3 thousand!

makes some sense, gave my pop a ride home from his first and the recovery room musta been a hundred yards long. talk about mcbutt hurts

nice on the affordable care act reaching out to help so many people but unfortunately, its just gonna further make me a criminal

no help for me and a whole lot of people
Cragman

Trad climber
June Lake, California....via the Damascus Road
Jun 26, 2013 - 03:32am PT
$600.00 does not sound right. Must have got that one in an alley somewhere.

Couple grand minimum.
Gary

Social climber
Desolation Basin, Calif.
Jun 26, 2013 - 05:45am PT
Whichever way you go, yer gunna die!
Bits and pieces of "biological dirt" from inside people's colons are being left on three in 20 of the instruments inserted in people's rectums to examine their lower digestive tract, according to a study at five hospitals nationwide.

"Three out of 20 is an unexpectedly high number of endoscopes failing a cleanliness criterion," said Marco Bommarito, an investigator with 3M's infection prevention division, which conducted the study. "Clearly, we'd like no endoscopes to fail a cleanliness rating."

Rates for biodirt were as high as 30% for reusable endoscopes used for upper gastrointestinal exams, according to the study, presented at the annual conference for the Assn. for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology, in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

The study comes after thousands of patients in the last four years have had to undergo HIV and hepatitis testing after authorities uncovered improper cleaning practices at hospitals, including several run by the Veterans Affairs Department.

http://www.latimes.com/news/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-dirty-colonoscopy-20130607,0,3042313.story
Cragman

Trad climber
June Lake, California....via the Damascus Road
Jun 26, 2013 - 05:48am PT
Gary, you just spoiled my morning latte.
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
And every fool knows, a dog needs a home, and...
Jun 26, 2013 - 05:59am PT
Speaking of lattes do you ever watch the coffee jerk at the local coffee jernt wipe the frother nozzle (frother nozzle, lol) with the same well-used wipe cloth he used to wipe the counter and who knows what else?

Ew!

DMT
Cragman

Trad climber
June Lake, California....via the Damascus Road
Jun 26, 2013 - 06:09am PT
Darn it, Ding! How am I supposed to order another one now???
Gary

Social climber
Desolation Basin, Calif.
Jun 26, 2013 - 07:13am PT
Fortunately, I grew up a hillbilly. We got baths twice a week, whether we needed them or not, and generally we needed them. Being an active kid, I was covered in dirt most of the week, the same dirt the chickens were pooping in! We drank untreated country water, our cistern was filled with a combination of rain water and whatever ran off from the corn fields.

This is why I'm impervious to germs to this day.
losbill2

climber
Jun 26, 2013 - 07:46am PT
$600.00 does not sound right. Must have got that one in an alley somewhere. Couple grand minimum.

Cragman I know it does sound low. But remember there is nothing systematic nor organized about the terms Healthcare System or Organized Medicine. Costs for common medical procedures within a single geographical area can vary by as much as 10-fold. Everyone shops for the best price in buying a car. Hardly anyone shops for the best price in medical care.

Medicare rate for colonoscopies in an outpatient setting in the Boston area
is (drum roll please)Ö$611.77.
see this link for information

http://capsules.kaiserhealthnews.org/index.php/2013/03/how-much-simple-question-complicated-answer-in-medicare/

A different story which was focused on colonoscopies in the hospital in the Boston area can be found here http://www.wbur.org/2013/01/10/colonoscopy-quality-cost. It reveals that two hospitals surveyed will perform colonoscopies at the Medicare rate for anyone. I believe that with some phone work and negotiating one should be able to find similar pricing in an outpatient setting.

Finally I found this site online quoting $950:

http://www.colonoscopyassist.com/Cities/Boston_MA_colonoscopy.html

I recently did some online research for my brother who lives in the Reno area and is going to get his first colonoscopy. There are 8 outpatient clinics in the immediate Reno area that do more than 2500 procedures per year. This for an area of about 500,000. I have to believe there must be some competition among the clinics for patients. I advised him to call all of them and get price quotes. I will post up regarding what he pays.

One fly in the ointment maybe you will be required to have a basic physical exam prior to the procedure. It will add to the cost but ... consider the alternative and shop around and it is probably not a bad thing to get.
TwistedCrank

climber
Dingleberry Gulch, Ideeho
Jun 26, 2013 - 07:54am PT
I got one scheduled for August 12 at 830AM.

I won't webcast it, but I will post the YouTube. And pics. Lots of pics. Maybe they'll find some corn in there, or something.
rSin

Trad climber
calif
Jun 26, 2013 - 08:35am PT
concidering im gonna have to fly to find a dentist i can afford i should start shopping afield for this test as well...
Johnny K.

climber
Aug 21, 2013 - 01:32pm PT
Up...
couchmaster

climber
pdx
Aug 21, 2013 - 02:59pm PT
"There are two, no three methods of pain control for these procedures."

I'd told the Dr I didn't want the drugs/sedation for the procedure. He said: "very few choose that, but I respect it so how about we'll put the IV in and have it ready but we won't inject them unless you choose to do it, which you can do at any time, is that fair?" I thought so. He told me exactly how it was going to feel.

It was fine without the drugs. There is basically no recovery time, you jump up and get on with your life as soon as you're done. Not sure that it's for everyone though, as it takes some mind control. The real benefit is having the Dr describe what he is seeing inside your colon as you are both looking at the monitor.
TwistedCrank

climber
Bungwater Hollow, Ida-ho
Aug 21, 2013 - 04:03pm PT
It's a real thrill to have someone I barely know stick a camera up my butt and look around. A serious thrill.

But I had mine, and I don't have to go back for 5 years, so at least I got that going for me. Priceless.
doughnutnational

Gym climber
its nice here in the spring
Aug 21, 2013 - 04:07pm PT
I just had mine and chose the unsedated option. Nothing like seeing the inside of your colon in real time! It was not fun but(t) I do enjoy knowing I don't have colon cancer.
eeyonkee

Trad climber
Golden, CO
Aug 21, 2013 - 04:14pm PT
My guess is that this thread is gonna save a life or two. Good idea, Rick.
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Sep 9, 2013 - 04:02pm PT
One of my best friends died of colon cancer because he didn't get a colonoscopy. One of the most treatable forms of cancer if caught in time.
I thought the whole procedure, prep included, was pretty much a non event.
Cragman

Trad climber
June Lake, California....via the Damascus Road
Sep 10, 2013 - 06:43am PT
I get the unsedated version from the government.......every April 15th.
couchmaster

climber
pdx
Sep 10, 2013 - 09:33am PT
^^^Me too!^^^

But conversely, think of all the critical places your money is going. Places like the military hiring 29,000 full time staffers just to convince people that the Pentagon is doing good in the world. And the Dept of Homeland security budget is $46,900,000,000 - why should you not pay to have some federal gov't dudes monitor all of your emails and phone calls or pat your ass at the airport? And of course, there is the $220,000,000,000 to pay for interest on old debt. That's just the interest, and we are borrowing 40% of that number just to pay that.

Kind of makes one wonder what will happen once we get this debt hole deep enough. Our kids will be thinking of us I'm sure.
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