colonoscopy

  1. The 10-minute colonoscopy

    Slower is better for colon screenings

    Here's one from the department of the obvious: Docs who take their time during colon screenings are more likely to do the job right.

    No kidding!

    Colonoscopy isn't a blood test or a lab culture. It's a procedure that relies heavily on the sharp eyes of the doctor -- so OF COURSE it'll be more accurate when the doctor takes his time.

    Yet some docs race through the procedure as if they're double-parked. They blow through the colon (there's an image for you) in the minimum recommended withdrawal time of 6 minutes.

    And some move even faster.

    "Withdrawal time" is the time it takes to pull the scope out. That's the part of the procedure when the doctor actually looks for the polyps -- and new research shows that 6 minutes just isn't enough.

    For every minute past the 6-minute mark, the detection rate for adenomas jumps by 50 percent and the detection rate for clinically significant serrated polyps climbs by 77 percent.

    It finally levels off at the 9-minute mark, according to the study in the American Journal of Gastroenterology.

    Clearly, slow and steady wins the race to save your life from colon cancer -- and that brings us to the $64,000 question: How do you know how much time your doctor will spend hunting for polyps?

    You'll be under anesthesia, so you won't exactly be able to keep track with a timer. So you have to ask -- in advance -- what his average is.

    Most docs (the good ones, anyway) can tell you exactly how much time they typically spend in there. And as long as you're asking questions, ask him his batting average -- or how often he detects polyps.

    If he's detecting them less than the national averages of 15 percent of the time for women and 25 percent for men, he may be striking out too much -- and you should shop around for another doc.

    Whatever you do, don't put it off. Colonoscopy is one of the only cancer screenings that gets my backing, and for good reason: It can save lives without ruining them.

    I'm not done with cancer yet. Keep reading for the side effect of prostate cancer treatment your doctor won't warn you about.

  2. Men who sit get butt cancer

    Sitting down will boost your colon risk

    Men, here's some news you can't take lying down -- or even sitting down, for that matter -- because keeping off your feet is a major cancer risk factor for the part of the body closest to the seat.

    Yes... your butt.

    If you're seated for 11 hours a day -- whether it's at home, at work, in the car or (more likely) all those places combined -- your risk of colorectal adenomas jumps by 45 percent, according to the latest research.

    Colorectal adenomas are benign polyps, but they don't always remain benign. Over time, they can turn into colorectal cancer.

    And given enough time, they can kill you.

    Don't count on a gym habit or even an active hobby like golf or tennis to save your butt either -- the study finds the risk is the same whether you get that activity or not.

    All that really matters is how much time you spend glued to a seat.

    The best way to protect your rear -- and the rest of your body, for that matter -- is to pick an active hobby AND stay moving throughout the day. You don't have to break a sweat, just keep yourself upright and in some kind of motion as much as you can.

    The study didn't find the same colon risk in women -- but ladies, don't sit down just yet.

    A sedentary lifestyle is a major risk factor for any number of other cancers in men and women alike -- and being inactive will also boost your risk of metabolic syndrome, obesity, diabetes, heart disease and more.

    But let me get back to colon cancer. Being active is great and will reduce the risk (at least in men), it won't bring the risk down to zero.

    For that, you need a colonoscopy.

    You know me, folks. I don't buy into most mainstream cancer screenings, because most of them ruin more lives than they'll ever save. But colonoscopy is a different beast -- because it can detect colorectal adenomas early, and pluck them out before they turn deadly.

    If you haven't been 'scoped yet, don't wait -- make an appointment today. But before you make that call, read this free report from my Daily Dose archives on how and when to schedule a colon screening.

  3. Colonoscopy saves lives

    New research confirms that colonoscopies save lives -- as long as you make sure you get the right form of this critical screening.
  4. Slower is better during colon screenings

    Docs are supposed to spend six minutes looking for polyps during a colonoscopy -- but some docs take as little as three. New research shows just what they're missing.
  5. Magnesium can slash colon risk

    The mineral magnesium can cut the risk of colon cancer -- but only in people who get the most. And most people get very little.
  6. The only surefire way to slash your colon risk

    Everyone's looking for a magic pill that'll help them avoid colon cancer -- but really, most of them are just looking for an excuse to avoid a colonoscopy.
  7. Cut-rate colon screening misses cancers

    In fact, these bargain-bin procedures can be had for a quarter of the price of a colonoscopy -- and now, a new study finds that low price is matched only by its low rate of effectiveness.
  8. Colon docs poop out

    A new study confirms that docs get worse at colonoscopies as the clock winds down toward quittin’ time – with some docs only half as good at the last procedure of the day as they are for the first.
  9. Colon exam doesn't finish the job

    A new study is pushing a cut-rate version of the colonoscopy -- and while it might save your insurance company big money, don't count on it to save your life.
  10. Obesity tied to colon, liver problems

    If you're serious about your health and losing weight, pay attention -- because the latest research shows even more ways having a big bottom and jelly belly will kill you early.

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