I did okay at my recent annual physical. Triglycerides have gotten a bit higher, but we'll just monitor for now, doc says, and some of the cholesterol values have also inched a bit out of normal ranges (again, we'll monitor), but on the whole he said I'm doing okay for a 75-year old.
But before doing the lab tests that are part of the annual exam, the doctor brought up something I hadn't expected. I knew I was overdue for a colonoscopy, but he then said that whether or not I would be getting one now was my choice.
He said the determining factor here was now my age, that at 75 I could go with the test or not.
Here's an article that describes the current medical thinking on this issue:https://www.webmd.com/colorectal-cancer/news/20160926/study-colonoscopy-after-75-may-not-be-worth-it#:~:text=after%2075%2c%20you%20can%20make%20individualized%20decisions%20%5babout%5d,method%2c%20including%20colonoscopy%2c%20from%20age%2050%20to%2075.
From it:"... having a colonoscopy ... had little or no effect on cancer risk among patients over 75."
"... the overall health and life expectancy of the patient"
should determine likely need for test."Screening guidelines from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommend screening for colon cancer with any method, including colonoscopy, from age 50 to 75."
"But you're not going to benefit if you are likely to die from something else."
In planning for my labs that day, my doctor pointed out these factors in my own case, re colonoscopies:
1. Positive state of my overall health in view of my age.
2. No issues with previous tests .
3. No family history (either side) of colon issues.
So when my doctor then said it would be up to me if I wanted to continue the colonoscopy or not, I guess I sort of mentally defaulted to what he had just said in statements 1-3 above, and said "okay, let's just let it go," and he said okay.
In retrospect, now that my annual physical is over, I think I'm still okay with my decision to drop the test.
But I'm wondering if any of you here have had to make this choice, and how you handled it.
OTOH, at age 75 I may be one of the older members of our group here, so maybe I won't get all that many replies. But that's okay. Hypothetical replles any of you wish to make can add to the discussion.
But then there's also the fact that here we have another U.S. Preventive Services Task Force screening recommendation, and we all know from the PSA testing debate what a wormcan that can become.
But, you know what, it all gets down to playing the odds. The USPSTF people take a whole bunch of numbers from folks like you and me, graph them, and wherever some lines cross or something, they say that's
the cut off point for further testing.
But where am I as an individual on that graph? On the "good" side of the line or the "bad" side? Like I saId, one plays the odds.
So maybe I'll do just that with the colonoscopies.
One less thing to deal with.
But the thread is now
open for your opinions on the matter.