Over 50? Stop stalling and get that colonoscopy


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

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

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, ...)


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

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,

mark miller

Social climber
Jul 11, 2012 - 11:50pm 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.

Boulder climber
Joshua Tree, California
Jul 12, 2012 - 01:09am 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, I guess practice does make perfect!

No cancer.
Mighty Hiker

Vancouver, B.C.
Jul 12, 2012 - 02:37am PT
Bringing new meaning to the expression "on sight cracks".
Karl Baba

Trad climber
Yosemite, Ca
Jul 12, 2012 - 03:45am 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


Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Jul 12, 2012 - 10:36am PT
Happy Gallon of Gack Karl! LOL
Don Paul

Big Wall climber
Colombia, South America
Jul 12, 2012 - 10:37am PT
Thought this was going to be another Hankster thread. Never mind.
Don Mellor

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

Trad climber
Fumbling towards stone
Sep 21, 2012 - 08:40pm 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.


Trad climber
Nor Cal
Mar 3, 2013 - 11:25pm PT
Going in tomorrow... a couple of years late but better late than never.

Trad climber
Nor Cal
Mar 4, 2013 - 12:41pm PT
Everything done and clean, now what to eat first.

Social climber
So Cal
Apr 25, 2013 - 09:42pm 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.

Boulder climber
Salt Lake, UT
Apr 25, 2013 - 10:21pm 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.

Jun 7, 2013 - 11:33am PT

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 - 11:42am 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.

Jun 7, 2013 - 11:59am 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 - 12:23pm 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!

Trad climber
Jun 7, 2013 - 01:27pm 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!
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