Here’s the periodic plea to get a colonoscopy, if you’re due for one

Miami Beach, patient medical report results, colonoscopy
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This article is intended for one person.

It’s for the one person out there who knows that he or she should have a colonoscopy, due to age or other factors. It’s for the one person who has decided to put it off until a more convenient window arrives for the two-day investment of time and effort and starvation and liquid intake and (eventually) liquid outflow. It’s for the one person who continues to fend off family members who continue to remind and cajole and beg and plead the person to schedule the procedure.

It’s for the one person who has a polyp that will turn malignant if not detected and removed soon. It’s for the one person who, if he or she gets the colonoscopy scheduled and undergoes the procedure and has the polyp removed before it becomes malignant will avoid a bout with cancer that could go badly and end poorly.

That’s the person this article is intended for. You. You don’t know about that polyp, but you know that you need to be checked for it. You know that you’ve been putting it off. You know that your family has been hounding you, and that they will continue to do so. And when you get the colonoscopy that removes the polyp that would have turned malignant and could have ended your life and impacted multiple other lives in a horribly negative way, you won’t know for sure that it would have gone that way if you hadn’t had the procedure.

But you’ll definitely know that you and your family won’t endure that outcome, because you did what you had to do, for yourself and for them.

I mention this whenever I have a periodic colonoscopy. The first one happened in 2011, when I learned that I have Crohn’s disease. The next happened in 2012, 2015, 2019, and again today.

I got good news earlier; minimal inflammation and no new polyps. (I’ve had one.) And I won’t need another procedure until 2024.

So this is likely the last time you’ll hear about this for three years. Which means this is my last chance to reach that one person before it’s possibly too late.

Are you out there? Are you paying attention? Will you start the process tomorrow morning to schedule your colonoscopy?

47 responses to “Here’s the periodic plea to get a colonoscopy, if you’re due for one

  1. I kept putting mine off, my reward? I got to do it again 6 months later to make sure they got everything the first time and now I’m “high risk” and have to do it every 3 years now. It sucks but yes GET IT. Also forget drinking the gallon of seawater…. tell them you want to do the Miralax/Gatorade prep… much easier and you only taste Gatorade.

  2. Thanks for the reminder, Florio. I’m 43 and have had my primary care physician’s scrip for mine sitting on my desk for months. I’m not looking forward to it, but I’ll get this scheduled tomorrow.

  3. The truth is, if they put you under, there’s nothing to it. The prep isn’t great, but really not that bad.

  4. Lost my mom to colon cancer. She died at 49 years of age. They just didn’t find out soon enough. I get one every 5 years. Thank you for the public service reminder!

  5. Very worthy of you to pass this message along Florio. Kudo’s to you for using your pulpit to spread the word. The prep is getting better all the time I might add.
    Glad you received good news from it today.

  6. Sorry, I didn’t read the earlier comments.

    I just saw the Dulcolax/Miralax/Gatorade part and I immediately freaked out and thought you were doing that INSTEAD of having a colonoscopy.

  7. I don’t know why everybody is afraid it’s a glorified nap you absolutely feel nothing and God willing they find nothing .

  8. I did it two years ago and it wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it was going to be. I’m glad I did it and will do it again when my doctor tells me to.

  9. Great reminder but in all honestly being prescribed Miralax/Gatorade as your prep is basically malpractice. Miralax/Gatorade is NOT a bowel preparation…it’s a laxative! Saying it’s very ‘effective’ is a dangerous statement since it does not adequately clean out your bowel.

  10. It’s really not that big of a deal…. everyone seems to like to make it a mountain of a procedure when it’s just really an inconvenience….
    Just man up & do it for the people who love you if not for yourself…..

  11. Especially important if you have anyone in your extended family who have had stomach or colon cancer….
    It runs in my family; grandfather, his son/ my uncle. I have had the procedure now 4 times. Polyps have been found.
    The last visit, my gastroenterologist had to remove my head–it was so far up, I swear I could see daylight.
    Dr. said he’s seeing a lot of this lately.
    Advised me to eat better, exercise more, and be sure to read Mike Florio — to keep me regular.
    ; )

  12. Great advise, thank you!

    Might I add, for that man reading, that one who is 45-50 and older, who doesn’t realize prostate cancer is the 2nd most diagnosed of any, easily detectable and treatable if caught early. Get that PSA and PHI (demand they give PHI too for greater specificity)

    I got diagnosed with an early form, at 52 last year, and am thankful to know, rather than not know.

  13. I had my 1st colonoscopy when I was 35 and got polyps removed. My Dr said if I didn’t come in I wouldn’t have seen 40. I will be 60 in 2 months and preach about the importance of colonoscopies! Do it for your family!

  14. Thanks Mike, we come to this site for NFL news but WE are a community. It takes a man to address a man on these delicate issues.

    Please keep it up.

  15. I had a friend who didn’t get his colonoscopy until he was 63 and it was to late.
    The cancer had matastasized to several vital organs before it was discovered. He went through several operations,chemo,radiation and a lot of pain for him and his family in the 2 years before he passed.His Doctors told him that if he had gotten his colonoscopy when he was 50 that he would’ve been fine. Before he died he asked me to tell everyone that I knew or met in that age group to get their colonoscopy. His biggest regret was everything he put his family and friends through before he passed. Please get your colonoscopy for Jimand your family.

  16. I was having intestinal issues in my mid-30s. My doctor didn’t think it was anything serious but decided to do a sigmoidoscopy (slightly less invasive than a colonoscopy), and low and behold he found a polyp. I had a colonoscopy shortly thereafter and had it removed. Lucky for me it was non-cancerous but because I was so young when it was found, I’ve had to have colonoscopies every 5 years since for the past 30 years!

    Over the years, they have developed new ways for prep and it is not nearly as bad as it was 30 years ago. It’s a once-every-5-year thing that I need to deal with for a couple of days, after which I can have a huge meal! Not a very big deal in the scheme of things and I highly urge anyone who received a recommendation from their doctor to get one!

  17. Thank you Mike. As a health care veteran of over 30 years, I advocate each year for the same having witnessed the results year over year of those who put off this potentially life saving screening. If your message convinces just one to take the next step it will be worth its weight in gold.

  18. I always thought that “GoLytely” was the biggest misnomer in the history of medicine.

  19. Well done Mike, as a fellow Crohn’s sufferer, I know what you go through. Thanks for taking some time to write this post and remind us all that we are all human.

  20. You may never know if you’ve saved a life or two by posting this. Thank you, Mr. Florio. Now… I can’t resist… In the words of Paul Allen (regarding the prep, pun intended): AND… HE’S… LOOSE!!!

  21. Thank you Mike for the prophetic advice. I think Mike and his filterer/proofs know me because most my comments are a bit outside the normal banter/scope of pro football talk. I don’t like it that my comments get pulled many more times than not, but this site and 99% of the Mike’s and his writers’ content keeps me coming back, and I really do appreciate their savvy insight into this game I’ve been watching since I was 8 yrs old. But Mike and I agree on this one gem of a topic. I’m 56, but at 43 I was having intestinal pains, I simply brought it up to my GP physician just to see what he would say. He said I was on the cusp (age-wise) to have a colonoscopy. Because I was a bit younger he ran it thru my insurance and they paid for the procedure. I never thought anything was going to materialize. I would up not having colon cancer, but neuro-endocrine carcinoid cancer of my lower intestine (illeum) which spread to my liver. I had about 11” of my intestine removed and then 1/3 of my liver resected. If I wouldn’t have had that scope I would have been dead in < 2 yrs. As was said I’m 56 and my quality of life could be much much better than it is. But I’m alive to have seen my sons play high school sports, graduate high school, go on vacations, and now both are in college. TBH I may not make it to 60, but that scope that Mike has been reminding us all about extended my life by at least a decade. And I feel blessed… there are people in your lives that are counting on you to do the prep and get the scope (I’ve had 8) so you can be in their lives. It’s one day of prep (miralax/Gatorade/sprite is good and make sure to stock up on Jello)… and then the gastro specialist puts you under for < an hour, and it’s OVER… oh, and you get out of a day of work.;) Thank you Mike Florio for taking time on your site to post this and for your encouragement to your readership and God Speed and good luck to you all.

  22. Thank you for the timely PSA, Florio. I have had two And just think of the cool pics from the exam that you can send with your Christmas/Hanakuh/Festivus cards as well.

  23. Man, there is so much stuff you post that I don’t agree with but good for you to use your ridiculously powerful and far-reaching platform for something like this. If you prevented one family from losing someone important to them, it was well worth it.

  24. Yea its important..my brother has been stage 4 for abuout 2 years and he’s still under 40 yrs old

  25. I had my first when I was 44. It’s not that bad. There’s no reason not to do it.

  26. Great idea using your platform to remind people of this, Mike. I lost my wife several years ago at age 49 to colon cancer. They estimated that she had it started when she was around 44, about the time she graduated from law school. It was found only due to pain in her liver, and by that time it had spread throughout her liver and she was gone in 9 months.

    She had none of the classic symptoms, none whatsoever, so if you don’t get a colonoscopy, you may never see it coming. She only had a single 3+ cm cancerous polyp, but it metastasized early. She went through some grueling chemo and even had to give herself two injections a day of Lovenox for blood clotting, which isn’t uncommon. She never had the chance for a colonoscopy screening.

    Fortunately, they’ve moved the recommendation from starting at 50 years old to 45 years old (they should move it to 40) a couple of years ago. I don’t know if most health insurance is adjusting coverage with the guidance, but the trend has been an increase in cases for people under 50. Go get it done. It’s one of the few cancers that we can definitively screen for and prevent, and the prep is no worse than watching the Jets play the Jaguars, and the actual procedure takes far less time and is less painless than waiting for the Bears to draft a franchise QB.

  27. Don’t be a dope, get the scope.

    If everything’s cool they say do it again in 10 years. If it’s not cool it’s a damned good thing you got it checked. It’s really a no-brainer. Sometimes doctors can overdo getting things checked on you. This is not one of those times.

  28. Well Florio we finally agree on a topic. My dad had bowel cancer and since then I have been getting it done every 5 years. For all you people putting it off, it’s no big deal.

  29. It’s not a big deal at all. The last time I did it I only had to drink two small bottles of liquid. There’s no excuse not to do it and you’ll feel great once it’s all over.

  30. This is not a joke, but important to do. I am a physician and my mother died from colon carcinoma (cancer) at SIXTY years of age!

    I just completed my fourth colonoscopy. My suggestion is rapid ingestion through a large diameter straw followed by a chaser of ice-cold water or ginger ale if allowed. I drank the first solution in less than 2 minutes and the second solution in less than 1 minute.

  31. Had my first at 35 and it was so much easier than expected. The day of no food is hard, the drink is gross but after that it’s not too bad. Best part is that with young kids in the house it’s literally the best sleep I’ve had in 5 years.

  32. Depends on your family history and risk factors. I had mine at 46 because I had a positive test for microscopic blood in stool. Turns out I had Crohn’s disease.

  33. As an ulcerative colitis sufferer for 30 plus years, I had my last scope in 2018. I won’t have another one as the damage was finally to the point of no return. The two flat polyps that were unremovable along with only six inches of colon without scar tissue made the decision for complete removal easy. Best I’ve felt in 20 years finally done with that disease.

  34. Great advice that hits close to home. My dad ignored his GI issues for years until he was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer. He was only 32 at the time. While I’m happy to say he just turned 60 and has defied the odds, had he more awareness he could have avoided a lot of pain. It’s not just about turning 50, if you’re experiencing issues please get them checked out. Colon cancer is very preventable if you stay on top of your colonoscopies!

  35. Colon cancer took my mom’s life…and now my sister has it…Colon cancer can be prevented…I had to get screened ten years prior to the age of my mom when she died…all clear for five years….

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