What a Colonoscopy Revealed That the At-Home Test Didn’t
When Fran’s primary care doctor recommended that she have a colonoscopy back in September 2021, Fran declined. She had undergone the procedure before and didn’t like the prep. Instead, she opted to take the at-home Cologuard test.
“I don’t want to poo-poo it, pardon my pun, but you learn things that sometimes you didn’t know,” chuckled the energetic 81-year-old.
Now, Fran is sharing her story with other patients who might be thinking about skipping their colonoscopy in favor of the well-marketed Cologuard test.
After taking the test at home, Fran’s Cologuard results came back negative, and the conversation was put to bed.
Until a year later, when Fran noticed blood in her stool and was referred to Dr. Gregory Lam at Cincinnati GI. Dr. Lam performed a colonoscopy and found a large polyp in Fran’s colon. Fran had
the polyp removed, which turned out to be a precancerous tubular adenoma.
“I learned something,” said Fran. “The at-home test told me I didn’t have cancer, but what it didn’t show me was the actual physical state of my colon. It couldn’t tell me about the polyp, and that polyp could have become cancerous.”
Fran also praised the improvements made in the colonoscopy prep process over the years.
“I was 68 when I had my last colonoscopy, and I had a lot of trouble with gas and severe pains in my stomach. This time there wasn’t any of that. It’s a better system, and I think people need to know that.”
It’s true; colonoscopy prep has become easier over the years. And it’s worth it because a colonoscopy is the only test that enables a medical professional to fully evaluate the colon and remove precancerous polyps at the same time.
For Fran, it was a potential lifesaver.