Wednesday, November 4, 2015

More research may be necessary

On my calendar in 16 days from now is my first screening colonoscopy.  I decided about one month ago to schedule one after being constantly scolded by those I shared how I’ve never had one. 

I had a less-invasive, but not by much, sigmoidoscopy a decade ago when turning age 50 and was told then that I was squeaky clean.

So in my recent efforts of being a medical consumer, thanks to having a high-deductible health insurance policy, I’ve learned the following:

(1)  In my age decade of age 55-64, colorectal cancer is the 9th leading cause of death among men and the 3rd leading cause of cancer-related death.

(2)  It’s next to impossible to get a price quote on how much one will cost.  I find this very troubling.  I wouldn’t buy a new pair of running shoes before knowing how much they will cost and it seems to me that the same should be true for the cost of a colonoscopy.  Try to find out and see for yourself.

(3)  The good news is thanks to the Patient Protection And Affordable Care Act, a screening colonoscopy is now considered preventative care so insurance carriers have to cover it at no cost to the patient without regard to the type of insurance plan and deductible.  This assumes the actual procedure gets billed as a screening colonoscopy rather than something else. 

(4)  The average age of people diagnosed with colorectal cancer in the United States is age 72. 

(5)  Men have a slightly higher risk of developing colorectal cancer than women.

(6)  The effectiveness of a screening colonoscopy depends on who you ask.  Space doesn’t permit sharing what some of the critics have to say but I’ll tell you this, I’m really thinking hard about whether I’ll keep my date.

I’ve gone so far as studied the high risk factors of developing colorectal cancer and determined my risk to be low.  Of course there are always exceptions.

Not that I’m a middle-aged man scared-y-cat but rather a risk management oriented medical consumer so there’s a good chance I’ll postpone or cancel my scheduled screening colonoscopy.

More research may be necessary.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

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