How a Colonoscopy Saved My Life

Rush Copley physician on getting screened at age 37: 'Listen to your body'
Vidya Mandiyan, MD

It was not much, just a maybe a teaspoon of blood. But it was weird. Painless. On only one side of stool. And it happened more than once.

"Oh its just hemorrhoids. You are post partum and getting older. There are more important things to do right now," said the devil on one shoulder. "You are 37. Just ask someone," the angel on the opposite shoulder replied.

I spoke to my GI colleague about what I saw. I was asked to schedule a colonoscopy. The prep was challenging, but I got it done.

When I woke up, I was told they had found a polyp, which was small 3mm, but it was biopsied. It came back as a tubulovillous adenoma. I knew what that mean — I just got saved. If I had put this off, with no family history, my age 45 scope would have likely had cancer result. My daughter would have been 13.

I had another scope at age 40, and am back on the regular schedule for surveillance. I implore you, both as physician and patient, if you are reading this, LISTEN TO YOUR BODY. Ask the questions you don't want to ask.

It could literally save your life.

Vidya Mandiyan, MD, is lead hospitalist at Rush Copley Medical Center.

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