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.