Many of us like to use up our paid vacation days over the holiday season. After all, the year is drawing to a close, and those extra vacation days will go to waste if they aren’t used quickly. Whether you use this time to spend with family, take care of routine maintenance around the home, or just catch up on some much needed rest, the holiday break is a great opportunity to check some things off your to-do list and start the New Year off right. But here’s something you may not have considered doing over your holiday break: getting your routine screening colonoscopy.
Colonoscopies are considered the gold standard in colon cancer screening methods. During this procedure, your doctor will use a flexible, lighted scope to evaluate the entire length of your colon and search for the presence of colon polyps. If any polyps are detected, they can be removed during this procedure and sent off for biopsy and diagnosis. An estimated 60 to 90 percent of colon cancer deaths could be prevented by routine colonoscopy screenings after the age of 50 (Source: StopColonCancerNow), but according to the CDC, 1 in 3 adults between the age of 50 to 75 are not current with their colon cancer screenings.
If you’re due for a colonoscopy, your holiday break is a great time to get it taken care of and lower your risk of colon cancer. Here are just a few benefits to consider:
No missed time from work – The average person misses one day of work for a colonoscopy. Since you already have the time off, you won’t need to worry about missing any additional work days.
Family support – This is the perfect time to rely on your spouse or family member to give you a ride home after the procedure. If they have already taken time off for the holidays, you won’t be interfering with their regular work schedule.
Cost may be lower – Under the Affordable Care Act, many insurance plans now offer screening colonoscopies with no patient cost-share. However, patients may still be liable for some expenses, such as bowel prep kits, anesthesia and facility fees. If you have already reached your deductible for the year, these costs may be lower – or even free!
Fresh start to the New Year – Can you think of a better way to start the New Year than with a clean bill of health? Get your routine colonoscopy out of the way and put your best foot forward in 2015!