Medically reviewed by Ayanna Lewis, M.D.
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… 3 days before
A woman, Meg, around age 45 whose race is ambiguous, is receiving a RX at the pharmacy
Pharmacist: So, you’re having a colonoscopy? Good for you. Here’s your medicine for the prep. Be sure to read the instructions carefully.
Meg: I’ve heard it can be rough! Is there anything I can do to make it easier?
Pharmacist: Yeah, you’ll want to stay close to the bathroom. But you can eat a low-fiber diet a few days before to make it a little easier.
The day before your procedure, stick to a clear liquid diet.
(Pull out) Avoid
Nuts & Seeds
… the day before
Reading the back of the box
Then show her taking the pills and drinking
Bowel prep kits can be liquid, tables, pills or powder
Meg … Thought bubble: So, I have to take these pills with a full glass of water until I finish them.
Convey that Meg is doing things around her house — be sure her ambiguous-gendered partner and kids make appearances in the background — as she waits for the prep to kick in
Thought bubble: Hmmm … the prep isn’t working.
Thought bubble: I really thought I’d be feeling it by now.
Show a surprised face and then show Meg running to and from the bathroom a few times, maybe with Tazmanian devil lines all around her
Oh! Now it’s working!
Yup, it’s working!
The two kids heads and a dog’s head pop in to the frame as they watch Meg run to the bathroom.
It must be finally working!
Have these handy:
Baby or adult wipes with aloe & vitamin E
… the day of
Meg enters the facility with her partner.
Receptionist: Are you ready for the big day? Do you have someone here to drive you home?
Meg: Yes, my partner’s going to stay with me.
Quick series to show her putting on a medical gown, and then in an OR with a big screen next to her with a medical team around her, she should be lying on her left side.
Show external monitor that the doctor will be looking at
Nurse: Here, you go. C hange into this gown. Everything comes off! Don’t worry, it sounds worse than it is. You won’t feel a thing, and it’ll be over before you know it.
Doctor says: We’re just going to make you comfortable, give you a sedative and use a small camera to take a look at your colon. We’ll be checking for polyps and any other abnormalities.
Meg is on the table, lying on her left side, with an anesthesiologist nearby
Anesthesiologist: Count backward from 100.
Meg wakes up and sees her partner in the chair next to her in a recovery room (or stall)
Meg: When are they doing the procedure?
Partner: You’re finished, it’s done!
Meg: It’s done? All that worrying for nothing?
Doctor walks in
Doctor: The lead-up is definitely worse than the procedure. And I’ve got your results right here. Everything looked good, and you don’t have to visit me again for 10 years.
No butts about it — screening is easy!
Risk Factors Include
All adults should be screened for colon cancer regularly starting at age 45.
Adults with increased risk factors may need to be screened earlier. Ask your healthcare provider what’s good for you.
Family history of colorectal cancer
Inflammatory bowel disease
Certain genetic syndromes, including Lynch syndrome
Tobacco & alcohol use
Overweight and obesity
A low-fiber, high-fat diet
Ashkenazi Jewish heritage
After your test is over, your HCP will tell you when to get screened again.
If you have polyps, follow up could be anywhere from one month to 10 years.
For more information, please visit HealthyWomen.org
This resource was created with support from Merck.