Debunking 4 Common Colonoscopy Myths

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The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services estimates that up to 60 percent of colon cancer deaths could be prevented if everyone over the age of 50 got screened regularly. Unfortunately, not everyone who is eligible for a colonoscopy gets one. Cost, embarrassment, and fear of the unknown are just a few factors that may influence someone’s decision against getting a colonoscopy, and many of these fears are based on false information. Let’s take a look at some of the biggest myths surrounding colonoscopies and set the record straight once and for all.

Colonoscopies are expensive

Under the Affordable Care Act, screening colonoscopies and related anesthesia costs are now mostly or fully covered by Medicare and many private insurers. This does not apply to grandfathered plans which were already in place before the Affordable Care Act, but you may still have coverage under state laws. If you have questions about your out-of-pocket expenses for a colonoscopy, call your insurance representative and ask for a price quote. It could be far less than you expected!

Other screenings are just as effective

The colonoscopy is the most comprehensive exam that can detect and treat colon cancer. Other screenings like virtual colonoscopy, flexible sigmoidoscopy, fecal occult blood test, and double contrast barium enema may be less invasive or less expensive, but they are not as thorough. A positive or inconclusive result from these tests may require you to follow up with a colonoscopy, so why not save yourself the trouble and schedule a colonoscopy in the first place?

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