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CHESTERCOUNTY-LIFE.COM MarchApril 2016 159 then sent to his or her primary physician. Unfortunately there is fear associated with colonoscopy screening says Terry Szupowal BSN RN CGRN Endo Clini- cal Coordinator. Patients think the test will hurt. However at Phoenixville Hos- pital the procedure is completely painless. Each and every person screened receives anesthesia. Colonoscopy prep often in- stills anxiety as well also not necessary. Individuals are required to consume only clear liquids the day before the test. Broth tea apple juice or water ice are allowed and Gatorade is recommended to replace electrolytes lost during the pro- cess. These limitations are necessary points out Szupowal because there is a 25-foot passage from mouth to rectum that must be clear. If it isnt doctors cant see the polyps. Finding polyps is the rea- son for the test. Another issue is critical she con- tinues. If there is food or liquids in the stomach on the day of your test these substances can mix with stomach acid and easily slide into the lungs while you are sedated potentially causing a type of pneumonia that can be fatal. To com- pletely eliminate this risk dont eat solid foods or drink liquids after midnight the evening prior to a colonoscopy. After the procedure the patient must not drive. People age 50 or older are urged to schedule regular colonoscopies. Younger individuals should be screened if they have personal history with inflammatory bowel disease or have a family member who had colon cancer. It is essential for anyone of any age who experiences symp- toms of colorectal cancer to schedule a colonoscopy. Symptoms include blood in or on the stool unexplained weight loss and stomach pain aches or cramps that dont subside. Polyps can be eliminated before turning into colon cancer underscores Szupowal. It is prudent to schedule a 25-minute colonoscopy every one three five or 10 years depending on individu- al situations. The perfect time is now National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month she concludes. CCL Phoenixville Hospital 140 Nutt Rd. Phoenixville PA 19460 610.983.1000 PhoenixvilleHospital.com ColonCancerRiskFactors Several lifestyle factors can be linked to colon cancer. You actually improve overall health and reduce colon cancer risks by avoiding the following Being overweight or obese Being physically inactive Eating an abundance of red and processed meats Smoking Drinking excessive amounts of alcohol Diane Kochinsky RN BSN is pictured in the scope room with some of the units high-definition endoscopes. MarchisNational ColorectalCancer AwarenessMonth