Colonoscopies and Seniors: What to Do?

Following up my last post – Learning to Say No to Doctors – I was interested to read results of a new study published by the Journal of the American Medical Association that reported up to 38 percent of colonoscopies performed on those between 76 to 85 years old (and almost 25 percent of those over 86) were potentially inappropriate under existing guidelines. I take a personal interest in this procedure because colon cancer played a significant role in my …

Free Colonoscopy Coverage Means Polyps, Too

A routine colonoscopy was supposed to be free under the new health care law, but then insurers began charging if doctors found and removed a polyp during the procedure. That’s a no-no, announced the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) last week, in an effort to clear up confusion about this and other medical tests that should be considered free preventive care, the Associated Press reported. In the notice posted on the HHS website, the agency explained that “polyp …

1 in 3 men too fat to see their you know what

Men, when you take off your clothes and look down, can you see your, um, manhood? If you can’t, you’re too fat. That’s the crude but effective test a British health-advocacy group says can let men know they have too much dangerous belly fat. The campaign is dubbed The Big Check and is based on the group’s  survey of 1,000 British men ages 35 through 60 that found that one in three couldn’t see their genitals because the view was …

Aspirin Helps Some Colon Cancer Patients Live Longer

It’s one of the oldest, cheapest drugs around, which makes it even more remarkable that humble aspirin helped dramatically cut the death rate among people with a specific kind of colon cancer, compared with those who didn’t take aspirin, new research shows. Harvard researchers in a large, government-funded study found that among patients whose tumors had a PIK3CA gene mutation – the cause of about 15 to 20 percent of colorectal tumors – regularly taking aspirin cut the risk of …

Costly Anesthesia: Waking Up To High Colonoscopy Bills

The costly issue of receiving anesthesia during a colonoscopy has become a hot topic. While gastroenterologists often let patients decide how much sedation they’d like when they have the procedure, a growing number of patients are discovering that they’ve been put under by an anesthesiologist, or nurse anesthetist, who then charges extra for their services. In some cases, this can leave the patient with unexpected bills that may not be covered or only partly covered by their insurer. As National …

A Laxative-Free, Virtual Colonoscopy? It Could Happen Soon

Think of it: A virtual colonoscopy that doesn’t require a day spent taking laxatives and being sequestered in the bathroom, and doesn’t use that lovely little camera-probe inserted where the sun don’t shine. Sign me up, you might say. Yeah, well, not so fast. First, it’s still being studied. And second, it’s almost — but not quite — as accurate as the traditional colonoscopy that does require all that prep work. A study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine …