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Women and colonoscopies-five ways to make it easier

Women and colonoscopies-five ways to make it easier

(NAPS)-While colon cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer deaths among women, many lives could be saved if more women were screened. The problem is, many women don't schedule a colonoscopy because they don't think they need one, while others don't want to endure the preparation for it. That's why is urging all women 50 and older and those who are not yet 50 but have a family history of colon cancer or polyps to get screened.
"Being screened at the appropriate time for colon cancer can actually prevent it," said Dr. Lisa Pichney, gastroenterologist and member of "Women need to understand that colon cancer screenings are as important as any other regular medical test. It can save your life."
While more than 80 percent of women nationally routinely schedule mammograms and Pap smears, only about 60 percent of women over 50 are screened for colon cancer. These tips may make a colonoscopy easier:
* Wear Your Boxers Backwards. If modesty is a concern, wear a pair of boxers backwards. Some gastroenterologists offer paper shorts to keep you covered.
* Grab Diaper Rash Cream and Wet Wipes. To cut down on irritation during prep, apply diaper rash cream before and after every trip to the bathroom and use flushable wet wipes.
* Make The Prep An Event. Schedule your colonoscopy on the same day as a friend. Going through preparation and procedure together will help make it easier.
* Drink Up. To make the liquid you must drink to clean out your colon more palatable, hold your nose, use a straw, keep the liquid cold and gulp it down.
* Celebrate. The day after your colonoscopy, go someplace special and celebrate the step you've taken toward better health.
"The bottom line is, women must take care of this," said Pichney. "Women are trailblazers and that means chances are good if you have your colonoscopy, then your spouse, friends and everyone else important in your life will also. So you're not just doing it for yourself, you're doing it for everyone you love."
About is working through more than 700 member physicians to increase screenings through patient education, primary care physician outreach and special events. One of the campaign's objectives is to help the public overcome barriers associated with colon cancer screenings.

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