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Flex-sig vs. Colonoscopy: news & question

1893 Views 17 Replies 13 Participants Last post by  HipJan
I've been hearing all over the television this morning that there is growing concern that sigmoidoscopy misses roughly 30% of colon cancer cases. I was one of those folks who was only recommended to have the flex-sig vs. the full colonoscopy which is exactly what I did. I'm not planning to go out and have the colonoscopy despite this study. How many of us have just had the flex-sig? Are you folks planning to have the colonscopy in light of the new research?
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I'm actually having my flex sig in a week and even though the news suggests that the procedure isn't as accurate for testing colon cancer, I'm not going to rush to have a colonoscopy unless my symptoms were characteristic of a colon cancer patient.
Hi Steve...I have had both. I have had three colonoscopies here (in IL) and the flex-sig was done at the Mayo Clinic. If it was good enough for them and they didn't do the whole deal, then I think you are OK. I did have a biopsy done with the colonoscopies, somaybe Mayo felt they didn't have to redo it...Just my experience!!!! Take care
------------------"Cookies" alias Marilyn
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hi. depends. myself, I'll always have full colonoscopies from now on, 'cause of family history and my own history of polyps. last year, my father had a colonscopy and had several pre-C polyps removed from the upper colon area; he also had hyperplasias (harmless polyps) in the sigmoid area. it was good he had a full father's only symptoms were change in bowel habits for a few months (maybe a bit of nausea later), though his symptoms seemed much milder than many people here who have IBS. my symptoms were similar, then they got a bit worse as time went, it just depends....
I had a sig.The doctor who did it said he saw absolutely nothing but a small hemmoriod,anyways,i have lower right pain,it has gotten worse and better on and off.My new dr. seems to think because of my age,and past tests,i don't need a colon done right now,but he also said,if i don't improve with his treatment,then he will advise it. I am reading way to much about how too many people have them,and don't need to.I think its a way to ease the thought of "i wonder" but then again,if you don't show signs or need it,why do it.I will have no choice if this dr. says i do.I have no family history,bleeding,D,etc. just lower right aching,i call it, slow mobility,mucus,gassy,and bloating,i don't think that qualifies me to have one. Krissy
One more thing,i was reading an article that a new colonoscopy was going to be done with a type of ultrasound scan or something,that they are doing it in Europe right now,anybody hear of this??? still have to prep,but no scope. Krissy
I've only had a sig, and I really wish my doc would do a colonoscopy, but she says I don't need it. When I had the sig, they found nothing. I kept having pain and they did a barium enema and found that I have diverticulosis, which didn't show up with the sig. I've already been laid up once with an infection. It makes me wonder what else they could have missed.Plus I'm at the age they recommend them, symptoms or not. If you have the option, get it done. Besides, you don't feel anything since you're out of it.JeanG
Steve,Here is an article I found today about Sig vs Colonoscopy.
The prep is similar, and the sig only sees one third. The cost is more for the colonoscopy. So my GI doc says you have blood in your stool, right? And I say huh, because I'm a little slow. And he says this morning you saw blood in the toilet, right? And I say yep. And he says I should have a colonoscopy to rule out anything serious.Once the cost is no longer a factor, it should be a no brainer. I mean if you have to drink that stuff anyway, why not get the whole thing looked at!Just my opinion.
Not too long ago I read a "paper" by a leading gastroenterologist who said he recommends yearly colonoscopies for his patients who have irritible bowel DISEASE (not ibs). His final sentence was, "I haven't lost one patient to colon cancer." I have ulcerative colitis (95% of my colon) diagnosed by colonoscopy and biopsies two years after I had my first colonoscopy which showed nothing but a few internal hemorroids. My symptoms escalated in those two years and I practically had to twist my doctor's arm to perform that second colonoscopy! He told me moments before performing it that he didn't expect to find anything. Well...surprise! Surprise! There is such a thing as microscopic colitis and that must have been what I had going on the first time. Since no biopsies were taken, it wasn't detected. I'm having my third colonoscopy in four years in late August. I plan to have one yearly and I am grateful there is such a diagnosic procedure.
I believe that there are a number of reasons one would choose a sig or col. If you are 40 years old or older than perhaps a complete colonoscopy would be a better test or if you have dark stools or blood presence in the stools. As that would increase your risk of cancer. If not, then I think a sigmodoscopy test would probably be sufficient.
Listen all of you out there. I had (notice past tense) a friend. No ibs ever. Got a physical every year. At age forty he started getting sigs every three years. At age fifty he started getting sigs every year. At age sixty he died of colon cancer.Get a colonoscopy.
What a story from Bill 56. It scares me that so many doctors are saying a flex sig is sufficient. I have had bowel troubles for years, and I finally saw a GI doctor who suggested a flex sig. A friend with Crohn's Disease suggested I push for a colonoscopy. I didn't and still got the sig. Although obviously IBS is real, it's sometimes hard to accept as a diagnosis and I'm worried I should have gotten a colonoscopy to check it all out. I'm sick of worrying!
A new procedure is being developed at New York University Medical Center. A tiny computer chip, which somehow transmits live pictures to a TV screen, is blown up the colon. When this was discussed the dangers of a traditional colonoscopy were enumerated. After my husband saw this, he cancelled his yearly colonoscopy exam. They said that the blood in the stool test was very reliable and if positive, a colonoscopy should be done.
Marianne,i saw that too,where you swallow a "pill" with a chip,or micro camera in it,and it records everything. KrissyNo one has mentioned the thing i saw about the colon being done in Europe with the ultrasound only,it looks through the entire colon,but no entry!
I insisted on the colonoscopy. My doc told me if they founf anything on a flex sig, they would have to do it all over again, so I insisted on starting there. Why do half a test, then follow up with a whole one. That and the fact that they do a twilight sedative with the colonoscopy and not the flex sig. I had surgery that same year for hemmorhoids, prolapsed rectum, fissures, then another surgery for a fistula. My hiney was not goint to be TOUCHED without heavy sedation. I was scared spitless of pain, and just said no. I don't regret insisting on the whole nine yards.
I just had the flex sigmoidoscopy two wks ago. My dr said because of no history or colon cancer in my family and no blood in my stool and because of my symptoms pointing to IBS he would just reccomend the sigmoid at this time and if it showed cause for concern then they would do the colonsocopy. He only found one littl hyperplastic polyp during the sigmoidoscopy and said looked harmless and said I should come back in a year for another and if it had grown any, they would then do the colonoscopy and biopsy and remove if necessary. I really think it is a matter of your symptoms and history that play a factor in the decision as to which test you have. Neither are pleasant, but worth the peace of mind they can give you.
good info. everyone, again, don't base your decision to do sigmoid. vs. colonscopy based on the blood-in-stool screening test. I had one of those simple tests earlier, and it was negative...but several months later, a precancerous polyp was found. and to think that my doctor kicked and screamed about the need to even give me a sigmoid.! also, they ask you over and over if you see blood in your stool. well, you likely may not even see it if it's there! hopefully there are more docs out there like Bill's.
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