January is a good time of year to line up all your routine check-ups—including the eye doctor, dentist, and regular physician.
And if you’re due for a colonoscopy, you should schedule that too.
I know—no one looks forward to getting a colonoscopy. And if you’re like many others, you may especially dread the prep for it. After all, those gritty shakes are gruesome!
Fortunately, I have some fantastic news that may make the experience a whole lot EASIER…
New and improved colonoscopy prep
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends regular screenings for patients at average risk of colorectal cancer between the ages of 45 to 75.1
Of course, there are several non-invasive, home screening tests you can opt for these days, including stool tests like Cologuard or the fecal immunochemical test (FIT).
But a good, old-fashioned colonoscopy remains the gold standard. And it’s the only screening test I recommend for someone with a higher risk of developing colon cancer. Or for someone whose non-invasive test comes back positive (or inconclusive).
(In fact, I get one every three years, since I have an extensive family history of it.)
Unfortunately, many people—even those like me with a strong family history—put off getting a colonoscopy (or avoid it altogether) because they dread guzzling down the gritty liquid prep.
In fact, about one-third of people who get colonoscopies don’t even finish their liquid prep—which means doctors probably don’t have the best view to spot potential polyps, tumors, or other problems during the screening!2
Fortunately, you can now skip the gruesome shake and opt for an FDA-approved, solid tablet—called SUTAB—that contains these active ingredients:
- sodium sulfate
- magnesium sulfate
- potassium chloride
Granted, you still have to stop eating solid foods the day before your colonoscopy. And you can’t drink or eat anything in the last few hours before the test.
But for someone who absolutely hates drinking that gritty shake, it’s an effective alternative. Better yet, you can take it with water!
The bottom line?
It doesn’t really matter how you choose to go about the prep for your colonoscopy—via the new pill or the old-fashioned, gritty drink. Just make sure to schedule it if you’re due this year, as it’s still the best test we have for detecting deadly colon cancer.
- “Colorectal (Colon) Cancer.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2/17/22. (cdc.gov/cancer/colorectal/basic_info/screening/index.htm)
- “New Colonoscopy Prep Tablet Approved by FDA.” Compass Oncology, accessed 11/7/22. (compassoncology.com/blog/new-colonoscopy-prep-tablet-approved-by-fda)