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Frequently Asked Questions


Treatments and Procedures
Will I have that procedure on my first visit?
How often should I have a colonoscopy?
On the preparation for my procedure, it states that I should not drink anything red when I am on a clear liquid diet, why?
How long will my procedure take?
When will I get the results of the procedure?
Will my menstrual cycle affect having a colonoscopy?
What constitutes as a clear liquid diet?
Are gastroenterology procedures painful


Colonoscopy, Colon Cancer, Polyps
What are colorectal cancer symptoms?
Which are the causes of polyps?
How can I prevent polyps?
Exactly what is a “pre-cancerous” polyp?
If the polyp is removed, does it mean that I’m cured?
May polyps take care of themselves or fall off?
Is it possible to have colon cancer without having polyps?
Is it possible to have blood in your stool without having colon cancer?
What diet should I follow to avoid colorectal cancer?



Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs
What are Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)?
What is the most important information I should know about medicines called Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)?
Who should not take a Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug (NSAID)?
What are the possible side effects of Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)?
NSAID medicines that need a prescription


Treatments and Procedures
Will I have that procedure on my first visit?
Procedures are not performed on the first visit. It is important for the physician to perform a complete physical examination on the patient prior to scheduling a procedure, to evaluate different circumstances that may modify the timing or type of procedure, so it can be performed in the safest and most convenient way.
When the procedure is ordered, you will have a chance to learn information about the procedure and ask any questions you may have.
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How often should I have a colonoscopy?
Most guidelines encourage you to have a baseline colonoscopy at the age of 50, earlier in African Americans and in some other circumstances that may increase the risk of early colon cancer. When you should return for a repeat colonoscopy will depend on your family history and personal history.
Your physician will be able to direct you to the appropriate time frame for your personal health.
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On the preparation for my procedure, it states that I should not drink anything red when I am on a clear liquid diet, why?
Food or drink containing red or purple colored dyes may temporarily cause discoloration of the mucosal lining of the gastrointestinal tract, making it harder for the physician to identify potential problems.
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How long will my procedure take?
The actual procedure only takes 30-45 minutes; however, several steps must be taken before and after your procedure.
The nursing staff at the facility where you have your procedure must ensure your records are reviewed and your pre-operative orders are completed.
This usually includes starting an intravenous line (IV) in your arm for the administration of medications. Additionally, after your procedure you will be in the recovery area until you are fully awake and able to drink.
Your physician will discuss, with you and your family member, the findings during your procedure.
We have found for most procedures, 4 hours is sufficient.

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When will I get the results of the procedure?
Results will be given to you or your companion after the procedure.
If biopsies were obtained, they require to be processed and evaluated by the pathologist.
Few days later we'll discuss the results with you.
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Will my menstrual cycle affect having a colonoscopy?
No, you will still be able to have the procedure; we do ask that you notify the nurse when you arrive.
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What constitutes as a clear liquid diet?
The clear liquid diet is composed of foods with low residue content which are liquid in form to minimize the load of food needing digestion in the intestines. This diet is also below the RDA in all vitamin and mineral components except vitamin C, and can promote deficiency if not supplemented with an absorbable micronutrient preparation.
This diet should not be continued beyond two days without protein, calorie, vitamin, and mineral supplementation.
An example of foods included in the clear liquid diet is: apple juice, gelatin, and chicken or beef broth. Milk products cannot be taken while on a clear liquid diet.
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Are gastroenterology procedures painful?
No, they are not painful. During the procedure the patients are sedated.
Most patients can sleep comfortably throughout the entire procedure.
Occasionally a gassy sensation, pressure or cramps may be felt.
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Colonoscopy, Colon Cancer, Polyps

What are colorectal cancer symptoms?
Colorectal cancer often develops without symptoms, but some of them can occur, particularly in the advanced stages of the disease:
        • Rectal bleeding
        • Blood in or on the stool (bright red)
        • Change in bowel habits
        • Stools narrower than usual
        • General stomach discomfort (bloating, fullness, and/or cramps)
        • Diarrhea, constipation, or feeling that the bowel does not empty completely
        • Frequent gas pains
        • Weight loss for no apparent reason
        • Constant tiredness
        • Vomiting
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Which are the causes of polyps?
Polyps seemed to be caused by both genetic and lifestyle factors.
Inherited factors may determine a person's susceptibility to the disease, whereas diets high in fat and low in fruits and vegetables may increase the risk of polyps.
Lifestyle factors such as smoking, a sedentary lifestyle, and overweight may also increase the risk.
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How can I prevent polyps?
Lifestyle modifications such as reducing dietary fat, increasing fiber, ensuring adequate vitamin and micro-nutrient intake, and exercise may improve general health. Adequate calcium in the form of diet or supplement can reduce the risk of polyps.
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Exactly what is a “pre-cancerous” polyp?
There are two possible interpretations. The first one describes the evolution of the lining of the colon from normal colon cells to colon cancer.
In this evolution, the patient first develops a polyp, the cells on the polyp then become atypical or dysplastic.
Next, the polyp degenerates into an early cancer, still continued to the polyp itself, and finally there is an invasive colon cancer.
Some people refer to all of the polyps up to the point of cancer as "pre-cancerous" polyps.
The second interpretation is related to classification of polyps and their malignant potential.
There are two broad categories of polyps we can find when screening: adenomatous polyps and hyperplastic polyps.
Adenomatous polyps are the type of polyps associated with an increased risk of colon cancer and are sometimes referred to as “pre-cancerous”.
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If the polyp is removed, does it mean that I’m cured?
Removing a benign polyp can prevent a cancer from developing at that one location, but the patient may develop polyps at other locations.
We recommend a close follow up for these patients.
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May polyps take care of themselves or fall off?
A true polyp will never “fall off” or take care of itself on its own.
They need to be removed before they continue to grow and potentially become cancer.
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Is it possible to have colon cancer without having polyps?
Yes, but it is an uncommon event. Individuals with long-standing inflammatory bowel diseases, such as chronic ulcerative colitis and Crohn's colitis, are at increased risk for developing colorectal cancer that occurs in the absence of polyps.
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Is it possible to have blood in your stool without having colon cancer?
Yes, it is possible. Hemorrhoids, anal fissures or tears, infections of the colon (infectious diarrhea), inflammatory bowel disease (ulcerative colitis or Crohn's colitis), colonic diverticula and abnormal blood vessels (arteriovenous malformations or angiodysplasia) may all be associated with bleeding from the rectum or colon, among other diseases. But the presence of blood in the stool has to be investigated further, because colon cancer is also a strong possibility, and early diagnosis and treatment is crucial. The other diagnostic possibilities also require specific treatments that can be determined after the appropriate evaluations.
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What diet should I follow to avoid colorectal cancer?
Although there is no food that causes colorectal cancer, it appears to be a slightly increased risk of developing this disease in countries with higher red meat or non-dairy (meat-associated) fat intake. In the same way, there has been an association with decreased rates of colorectal cancer and increased fiber intake. It is recommendable to follow high in vegetable fiber and low in fat and moderate to low in red meat diet.
Calcium and folic acid may have protective effects in the colon.
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Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs

What are Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)?
NSAID medicines are use to treat pain and redness, swelling, and heat (inflammation) from medical conditions such as:
• different types of arthritis
• menstrual cramps and other types of short-term pain
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What is the most important information I should know about medicines called Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)?
NSAID medicines may increase the chance of a heart attack or stroke that can lead to death. This chance increases:
• with longer use of NSAID medicines
• in people who have heart disease
NSAID medicines should never be used right before or after a heart surgery called a “coronary artery bypass graft (CABG)."

NSAID medicines can cause ulcers and bleeding in the stomach and intestines at any time during treatment. Ulcers and bleeding:
• can happen without warning symptoms
• may cause death
The chance of a person getting an ulcer or bleeding increases with:
• taking medicines called “corticosteroids” and “anticoagulants”
• longer use
• smoking
• drinking alcohol
• older age
• having poor health

NSAID medicines should only be used:

• exactly as prescribed
• at the lowest dose possible for your treatment
• for the shortest time needed

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Who should not take a Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug (NSAID)?
Do not take an NSAID medicine:
• if you had an asthma attack, hives, or other allergic reaction with aspirin or any other NSAID medicine
• for pain right before or after heart bypass surgery

Tell your healthcare provider:

• about all of your medical conditions.
• about all of the medicines you take. NSAIDs and some other medicines can interact with each other and cause serious side effects. Keep a list of your medicines to show to your healthcare provider and pharmacist.
• if you are pregnant. NSAID medicines should not be used by pregnant women late in their pregnancy.
• if you are breastfeeding. Talk to your doctor.
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What are the possible side effects of Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)?
Serious side effects include:
• heart attack
• stroke
• high blood pressure
• heart failure from body swelling (fluid retention)
• kidney problems including kidney failure
• bleeding and ulcers in the stomach and intestine
• low red blood cells (anemia)
• life-threatening skin reactions
• life-threatening allergic reactions
• liver problems including liver failure
• asthma attacks in people who have asthma

Other side effects include:
• stomach pain
• constipation
• diarrhea
• gas
• heartburn
• nausea
• vomiting
• dizziness

Get emergency help right away if you have any of the following symptoms:
• shortness of breath or trouble breathing
• chest pain
• weakness in one part or side of your body
• slurred speech
• swelling of the face or throat

Stop your NSAID medicine and call your healthcare provider right away if you have any of the following symptoms:

• nausea
• more tired or weaker than usual
• itching
• your skin or eyes look yellow
• stomach pain
• flu-like symptoms
• vomit blood
• there is blood in your bowel movement or it is black and sticky like tar
• unusual weight gain
• skin rash or blisters with fever
• swelling of the arms and legs, hands and feet
These are not all the side effects with NSAID medicines. Talk to your healthcare provider or pharmacist for more information about NSAID medicines.

Other information about Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)
• Aspirin is an NSAID medicine but it does not increase the chance of a heart attack. Aspirin can cause bleeding in the brain, stomach, and intestines. Aspirin can also cause ulcers in the stomach and intestines.
• Some of these NSAID medicines are sold in lower doses without a prescription (over –the –counter). Talk to your healthcare provider before using over –the –counter NSAIDs for more than 10 days.
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NSAID medicines that need a prescription

Generic Name

Tradename

Celecoxib

Celebrex

Diclofenac

Flector, Cataflam, Voltaren, Arthrotec (combined with misoprostol)

Diflunisal

Dolobid

Etodolac

Lodine, Lodine XL

Fenoprofen

Nalfon, Nalfon 200

Flurbirofen

Ansaid

Ibuprofen

Motrin,  Tab-Profen, Vicoprofen (combined with hydrocodone), Combunox (combined with oxy codone)

Indomethacin

Indocin, Indocin SR, Indo-Lemmon, Indomethagan

Ketoprofen

Oruvail

Ketorolac

Toradol

Mefenamic  Acid

Ponstel

Meloxicam

Mobic

Nabumetone

Relafen

Naproxen

Naprosyn, Anaprox, Anaprox DS, EC-Naproxyn, Naprelan, Naprapac (copackaged with lansoprazole)

Oxaprozin

Daypro

Piroxicam

Feldene

Sulindac

Clinoril

Tolmetin

Tolectin, Tolectin DS, Tolectin 600

This Medication Guide has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Date created: June 15, 2005, updated April 19, 2007
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