Is a Colonoscopy Worth the Risk?


  • Based on the evidence, an international team of experts is recommending routine colonoscopies only if you have a 3% potential of developing a growth in the next 15 years. If it is less, then the pitfalls associated with the procedure are not worth the risks
  • One study found a 17% risk of a missed cancer diagnosis with a colonoscopy. Other risks include perforation of the colon, which is raised when you have anesthesia with the procedure, gut microbial imbalance from preparation for the procedure, equipment contamination from improper sterilization between patients and death from complications
  • David Lewis, Ph.D., states that up to 80% of hospitals sterilize their endoscopes with glutaraldehyde (Cidex), which exacerbates the issue by preserving human tissue in the endoscope picked up during the procedure. The best method of sterilizing the equipment to date is peracetic acid, which will dissolve protein tissue and clear the endoscope
  • You may significantly reduce your risk of colorectal cancer by making lifestyle changes, including reducing or eliminating alcohol and smoking, maintaining a normal weight, eating a high fiber diet and exercising consistently

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