I received news from my doctor that made me doubly glad I had a colonoscopy. The one polyp that was discovered was not the usual kind found in the colon. Rather, it was a benign tumor known as a leiomyoma. There was no chance it would have turned to cancer, but it could have gotten big and caused serious symptoms. If it had grown and I had waited too long, I might have required serious surgery to have it removed. Instead, it is medical waste and my colon is certified tumor and polyp free from bow to stern.
Leiomyomas are common tumors (known as fibroids when they develop in the uterus) but very rare in the colon. Since little is known about colon leiomyomas, my doctor told me we should keep a closer watch than we would have had the growth been a normal polyp. So, in a year or two, I will be back for another colonoscopy, so glad that I did not put off the first one.
Preventive medicine is the ticket to good health on the individual level, and reduced expenditures of health resources on a societal level. If you are over fifty, or if you have colon cancer in your family and are over 40, get a colonoscopy. It doesn’t hurt and it could save your life and/or prevent you from having to undergo more serious medical procedures.