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Fecal screening test is NOT effective

Monday, March 04, 2013

The health news article here at SP that I just read seems to be making a case to have fecal screening tests instead of colonoscopies. And it tries to make me think the fecal screening is just as effective as the colonoscopy.

When I suspected a problem in May of 2007, I had the fecal screening test. It was negative. My doctor at the time insisted it was a hemorrhoid. In September, I switched doctors. He did a colonoscopy. It was a tumor 10 cm long. It required removal and resection, radiation, and 6 months of chemotherapy, 5 days at a time, every 5 weeks. PET scan in April showed cancer free. We celebrated and went on with life.

In November it was back, requiring irreversible colostomy, 6 months of chemotherapy 5 days at a time every 5 weeks. Then we switched to 1 day every week for 28 months. During that time I needed a 2nd colostomy because the 1st closed. I also had to quit teaching in 2011 because of fatigue.

So, please don't be lulled into thinking the fecal screening test is foolproof.

I know the prep for the colonoscopy is NOT pleasant. I slept through the procedure itself. Twice. And if they find a small polyp or other nasty looking spot, they can quite often snip it then, and that's then end of it.

Do we really want to trade one test for everything I had to go through because the fecal test did not identify the cancer? or because the fecal test is cheaper? or because the prep is just plain yucky?

I can tell you the prep was nothing compared with the 6 weeks of radiation, 5 days in a row of chemotherapy over and over again, or the weekly maintenance, to say nothing of the neulasta shot which I came to call the Monday after. It's job was to jumpstart my body into growing the white blood cells to regrow after the chemotherpy had killed of my supply. Very painful when those new cells line up and try to get out of your bones and back into the blood stream.

And while I'm doing pretty well managing the pouching system now, the little bit of grief you go through to prepare for your colonoscopy is NOTHING compared to the new life style an ostomate must put up with.

I would like to have the author or proponent of just doing fecal screenings show me the proof that it is just as effective.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • ANGEL1066
    thank you for the valuable information. i too am sorry you had to go thru all that, but glad you are doing so much better now.Cancer is beatable, if we refuse to feed it.
    1722 days ago
  • BUDDHA33
    I am so sorry to hear about all the horrible treatment you had to endure, Bravelute. It seems they take cancer patients to the brink of death with the chemo, radiation.

    But I am so glad you seem to be doing very well now and helping others avoid the pain you went through. I appreciate you stating so strongly your position on the worthlessness of this fecal test. We are all so at the mercy of doctors and what they tell us.
    1723 days ago
  • POPSY190
    Yes, I agree. I had to have a colonoscopy and the whole thing was horrible (I came to with the pain during it and they were holding me down ) but I would do it again without a second thought if there were a need. It's far better to endure one or two embarrassing or unpleasant procedures than to have on-going illness and even more unpleasant treatments.
    1723 days ago
    Houndlover, agreed about the prevention. That's why I started the team, Eat to Defeat Fat Cells, Cancer Cells, and More . . .
    1723 days ago
    I'm doing research on this issue as I am turning 50 this year and know that I need some kind of test to check for colon cancer. I just wanted to add that there is lots of evidence that sugar (and all foods that turn into them, meaning all carbs) will help cancer cells survive. Most other cells in the body can use other fuels, but not most cancer cells. Prevention is even better than early detection. I know because I've had cancer treatment too in the past.
    1723 days ago
    I had not heard of fecal screenings. I do know that 20 years before I had my emergency surgery that gave me a colostomy, I had a colonoscopy where the doctor gave me scopalamine, a horrible medication which was supposed to calm my innards down while he did the scope. I had unbelievable pain. The student nurse commented that I seemed to be having too much pain. He said, don't worry, she won't remember a thing! Ha, to this day, I remember it. I swore never to have another colonoscopy. Fast forward those 20 years, and I suddenly started losing weight and then had horrible pain daily. I asked my regular doctor for a referral and hoped to get a merciful doctor. Well, the merciful doctor was unable to do the procedure (and she said she would never use scopalamine) because I was totally blocked. As it turns out, I am one of those peculiar people who innards get more active with that medication.
    1723 days ago
  • JOYOUS1917
    Gee, what a fun topic I thought. But, thanks to you I have learned some important information. Thank you!
    1723 days ago
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