5 Colonoscopy Myths: Busted

A colonoscopy can be a lifesaver. But many Americans (maybe including you) haven’t gotten theirs. It’s often because of myths like these

Doctor talking to patients in office

Myth: I can’t afford a colonoscopy—it’s too expensive.

Fact: Most insurance plans cover this test—and so does Medicare. A colonoscopy is typically covered once every ten years for those on Medicare Part B or a Medicare Advantage plan. And if you’re at high risk for colorectal cancer, Medicare covers the test once every two years.

Myth: I don’t have any symptoms, so I don’t need a colonoscopy.  

Fact: Even if your stools look normal—and you feel just fine—you can still have colorectal cancer.

Myth: Nobody in my family has colorectal cancer, so I’m not at risk.

Fact: Most people who get colorectal cancer don’t have a family history of the disease.

Myth: Colonoscopies are painful.

Fact: You won’t feel a thing. Before the test, your doctor will put you to sleep. Most people don’t feel any pain at all.

Myth: Women don’t get colorectal cancer, so I don’t need to worry.

Fact: For men and women, the risk of getting colorectal cancer is almost exactly the same.

Colorectal cancer screenings could save your life. And a colonoscopy isn’t your only option. Your Care Coordinator can tell you about all the options available to you, including at-home testing kits and other methods.