Like any responsible healthcare professional, Michele Wolf, BSN, CPHRM, ignored her doctor’s advice when she recommended a colonoscopy at age 50. “I waited for two years because it never seemed like the right time,” Michele remembered.
She knew she needed to be screened, but hesitancy to get screened related more to the preparation required. “I dreaded the process where you cleanse your system before the test,” Michele said. “But the test itself was painless.”
In fact, she had the best dream of her life. She was golfing and it was beautiful outside. “I was playing a good game, but I could hear them saying my name. I wanted to stay asleep. I was disappointed when I woke up in the GI Lab and not the golf course,” Michele said.
As the saying goes, timing is everything, especially when diagnosing colon cancer. Early detection is essential because symptoms often don’t develop until the cancer is in its advanced stages. But during a colonoscopy, a gastroenterologist can remove polyps in their precancerous stage.
March is Colon Cancer Awareness Month and the perfect time to highlight the importance of early detection. Physicians recommend a screening colonoscopy at age 50, or age 40 for African Americans. A family history of colon cancer may dictate an earlier screening age for some.
It was a quick recovery for Michele. “I went home and took a nap, then went out and golfed 18 holes. Later, I treated myself to the biggest cheeseburger ever, just because I could.” She is grateful she doesn’t have to go back for 10 years. Now, Michele has peace of mind thanks to a clear test.