Mumsnet hasn't checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you have medical concerns, please seek medical attention; if you think your problem could be acute, do so immediately. Even qualified doctors can't diagnose over the internet, so do bear that in mind when seeking or giving advice.
This is a Premium feature
To use this feature subscribe to Mumsnet Premium - get first access to new features see fewer ads, and support Mumsnet.Start using Mumsnet Premium
Invited to a bowel scope....(27 Posts)
I’ve received a letter inviting me to a bowel scope ( invitation for everyone between 55-56) whereas I attend mammogram
and smears I feel quite reluctant to do this.I understand the idea behind it but it does seem that it could be unnecessarily intrusive with potential problems coming from any damage to the bowel itself. plus I have to give myself an enema first!
I’m a size 10,fit,don’t smoke or drink etc -does anyone have any experience of this( I know I should go but...)
Having the scope done wouldn't be nearly was bad as suffering from bowel cancer. We have preventative exams for good reason.
Definitely do it. If they find polyps they can take them out then and there and stop you developing colon cancer. Don’t think you are not at risk - have you come across BowelBabe? I think she is a 30-something vegetarian runner but developed bowel cancer (though is thankfully doing well at the moment).
Honestly - it’s a few minutes of possible embarrassment but could save your life.
P.S. re experiences - I have had a full colonoscopy but not the flexible sigmoidoscopy you have probably been offered (a mini version). It was fine and interesting (you get a tour of your insides).
It was a painless, fascinating experience, being able to see my colon on the screen (which was surprisingly beautiful!). The only downside was the oral enema I had to drink. I'm hoping things have improved in that respect since the mid-90s.
I had this recently. The worst bit was the gel because it was cold. and stung slightly. The insertion of the camera was uncomfortable rather than painful.
It’s fine - not embarrassing - the staff are very reassuring and have seen it all before. The worst bit is having to give yourself an enema before the appointment but the actual procedure isn’t painful. The test had fantastic results when the pilot was being carried out so is being rolled out across the country. If you have the opportunity to have it done, definitely grab it! It’s a chance to stop bowel cancer before it even starts ...
@AFistfulofDolores1 the oral prep hasn't improved!
@Meduse please go, if only for the reassurance. It's not that bad.
Not to be all scaremongery but my DH was diagnosed with bowel cancer at 40, he did have a family history so not totally out of the blue, but he had no bowel symptoms at all. It's been really tough and if you can have a test to hopefully avoid that then do it.
Do you mean a colonoscopy, OP?
If so, go for it.
I was as fit as a butcher's dog, tip-top diet, BMI, dress size, etc. etc. but had polyps as it turned out.
Not to piss on your chips. but the world is full of stories of the totally fit who pegged it unexpectedly of things they though they were too well to have.
Lots of people feel squeamish or worried about this sort of thing, but it really is a blessing to have screening available OP. See people like the broadcaster and screening campaigner George Alagiah, who says if he had been screened sooner he’d have had a treatable polyp rather than invasive cancer. Or my friend who lives in a country without screening and now has stage 4 colorectal cancer too. Unfortunately endoscopists are in short supply worldwide - if there were enough to go round we would all be screened at age 50 rather than 55.
Most people screened will be given a clean bill of health and will have had the satisfaction of seeing their pristine colon in glorious technicolour. And if there is something found, finding it early is key to treatment. It is highly unlikely that the procedure itself will cause you any harm. Once you’ve had it done you will wonder what you were worried about!
I was invited and went for mine last year. The enema before was a bit yukky - I had the rectal one rather than the drink - but the rest was ok. I found it painful, but I think that is because I got myself so panicked beforehand (I have dreadful health anxiety) so I couldn't relax. They took a polyp and found I had a small diverticular pocket but all was thankfully well and no need for any follow up.
My initial appointment time and hospital were not suitable for me so I phoned to change it. In between my original appointment and waiting for my new one to come through my doctor phoned to see why I hadn't gone for my screening. He said I wouldn't miss my smear or mammogram so why would I miss this as this could equally save my life. I agree with him. If you're offered a potentially lifesaving test them why wouldn't you go for it?
Moviprep per chance? I refused it and got Picolax instead......1 a 150ml glass each day followed by lots water!
i had one after doing the shit on a stick test for occluded blood and i was really nervous beforehand. The prep was by far the worst part, but i believe it's a lot shorter now. (It was about three years ago.)
I had mine done at Addenbrooks, it's a real centre of excellence for this. The (gorgeous, young) consultant came to get me from the waiting area and walked me into the treatment room and told me it would not be nearly as bad as i feared.
I didn't believe him but he was absolutely right.
Have the sedation, it's wonderful and they topped it up if I so much as winced during the procedure. They found a small polyp and excised it there and then. No further problems, i've just done the shit on a stick test again and it's all still good.
I’m having it done tomorrow. Really not looking forward to it but needs must.
I have the enema kit to do beforehand. Not looking forward to that either!
Just had it a few weeks ago. Because it’s the lower part of the colon (flexible sigmoidoscopy) you just do an enema at home but they will do it at the hospital if you feel you can’t do it yourself. I think you only have to drink the prep if you are having a full colonoscopy.
I found it a little bit painful in parts but it is quite quick, no more than 10 minutes. It’s definitely worth having it done.
@TARSCOUT - It was called "GoLightly" (South African). More like "go heavily" <snurk!>
Do it, it's fine. The NHS wouldn't pay for this if they didn't think it was worth it. I found the enema awkward to do and I was so nervous I had diarrhoea before hand so it didn't really work and they could only look so far then said something like 'stool obstructing view which made me feel like I'd failed a test!
My DS was slim, fit hardly drank, didn’t smoke, ate healthily and died in her 50’s from bowel cancer, please go
It's worth it for putting your mind at ease. It wasn't painful but was undignified.
I went yesterday. It was ok.
I did the enema but wasn’t convinced it was all clean and shiny in there. Felt it needed a bit more of a swill!
Very undignified but the staff were lovely. Used the gas and air. It was painful a couple of times.
Glad it’s over and done with and apparently I have a beautiful bowel with no nasties. So all worth it.
Yes I had the invite. I also ended up with colon cancer. Fortunately it was found early. Just go!
I'd do it. Being low risk doesn't mean you won't get it. I had cancer in my 30s and was very low risk for that type of cancer. They now say 50% of people will get cancer, mostly occurring when they're over 50. If you can catch any problems early it could save your life.
Go, it won't be as bad as you think.
My dh 39 has terminal bowel cancer, with less than 12 months life expectancy. Never smoked, perfect weight, went to the gym 3/4 times a week. We have been together 25 years this summer, teenage sweethearts! And he has never needed to see a dr or gp before.
Every dr we have spoke to mentions how unusual as his is young, fit & healthy (sick of hearing it 🤨)
Go and be grateful you have been chosen in the trial.