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Healthy Balance

Colonoscopy: Real People Share What to Expect

Father in his 40s holding his daughter

Talking about colon cancer screening can be difficult or embarrassing. People often avoid talking about it. Or it’s the butt of a joke: “You’re almost old enough for a colonoscopy.”

That can make it hard to know what to expect when you get a colonoscopy, which makes it seem scarier.

Need a Colon Cancer Screening?

UVA Health offers a variety of screenings.

To break through this barrier, we asked members of the local community to tell us about their experiences with getting a colonoscopy — the only colon cancer screening that also prevents cancer. They shared the ins and outs, including:

Why You Need a Colon Cancer Screening

This year, colon cancer is expected to kill 50,000 people in the U.S. Screening could save half those lives, according to the American Cancer Society (ACS).

The ACS recommends people with average risk start screening at age 45. If you have a family history, you may need to start sooner. Talk with your doctor about when to start screening.

During a colonoscopy, doctors can find and remove polyps before they have a chance to turn into cancer.

Know What to Expect When You Get a Colonoscopy

Watch others who are glad they got a colonoscopy.

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