Rou­tine Colonoscopy Can Be A Life Saver

Riverbank News - - PERSPECTIVE - Glenn Mollette Dr. Glenn Mollette is Pres­i­dent of New­burgh The­o­log­i­cal Sem­i­nary, New­burgh, In­di­ana and his syn­di­cated col­umn is read in all 50 states. The opin­ions ex­pressed are those of the au­thor and not nec­es­sar­ily those of this paper or its cor­po­rate

I had my fourth colonoscopy re­cently. The best part of the pro­ce­dure is when it’s over. Hon­estly, it’s not that big of a deal but it’s al­ways eas­ier to say that when it’s over!

When I was in my gown five min­utes be­fore the test I thought about the in­con­ve­nience of the colonoscopy but then quickly re­mem­bered the in­con­ve­nience of colon can­cer.

My fa­ther was 60 when he was told that the large mass in­side his colon was can­cer.

Un­der the in­struc­tion of our fam­ily doc­tor Bob Hall in Paintsville, Ken­tucky he un­der­went surgery to re­move a large sec­tion of his colon that also re­sulted in a colostomy in the right side of his stom­ach. He would wear a bag on his side for three months. I vividly re­mem­ber the pain and sick­ness of that surgery in 1980. Three months later the doc­tor did another ex­ten­sive surgery and re­con­nected his colon. Seemed to me he was sicker af­ter that surgery than the one be­fore. Even­tu­ally he re­gained nor­malcy once again, never had ra­di­a­tion or chemo­ther­apy and lived 25 more years. He was one of the lucky ones. He had one re­ally bad sick year but he lived.

My mother-in-law had colon can­cer and had most of her colon re­moved in her for­ties. She spent the rest of her life with a stoma. A stoma is where a sec­tion of the bowel is brought out through the stom­ach area. How­ever, she didn’t wear a pouch but ir­ri­gated her colon ev­ery other day. It was one aw­ful surgery but she lived 40-plus more very ac­tive years of life.

A high school friend not long ago went to the doc­tor and found out he had stage four colon can­cer. He couldn’t beat it and died re­cently. A dear min­is­ter friend at the peak of his min­istry in his early fifties found out he had colon can­cer. He fought it hard but it didn’t take long and he soon died.

Some­thing will take us all out. We are all go­ing to die. My dad used to say; “None of us will get out of this world alive.” This is a true state­ment. How­ever, a colonoscopy is not that big of a deal. The rou­tine pro­ce­dure, two hours at the hos­pi­tal might prevent you from hav­ing your colon cut out. Now, that would be good, right? Or, maybe it might prevent you from dy­ing in your six­ties or even fifties or late for­ties.

I had my first colonoscopy at the age of fifty and they cut out three polyps. If I had never had that pro­ce­dure done I would prob­a­bly be dead by now from colon can­cer. I had another one three years later. Another one five years af­ter that and came out with four large polyps and one looked very pre­can­cer­ous. Thus, re­cently three years af­ter the last one I had my fourth and for the first time ever the doc­tor told me I had no polyps in my colon. Hal­lelu­jah! I was so glad. I’ve been eat­ing daily fruits and veg­eta­bles. Go­ing for the broc­coli, the as­para­gus, fruit, pep­pers, etc. I’m con­vinced fruit and veg­eta­bles are the ticket. I would rec­om­mend you make fruit and veg­eta­bles a part of your daily life. If you re­mem­ber, they told us this stuff in health class in el­e­men­tary school. It’s true.

Colorec­tal can­cer is the sec­ond lead­ing cause of can­cer death in Amer­ica. Over 50,000 peo­ple die from colon can­cer ev­ery year. Let’s all get rou­tine colono­scopies and at least try to avoid dy­ing from colon can­cer. Good luck!

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