• Dad refuses to get a colonoscopy after my rectal cancer battle.

    Asked by Mikeb on Sunday, September 16, 2012

    Dad refuses to get a colonoscopy after my rectal cancer battle.

    I was diagnosed with stage III rectal cancer when I was 33, just over a year ago. I went through a horrible year of treatment and surgery but I'm happy to say I'm now cancer free. My dad is 52 and has never had a colonoscopy. I have begged him to have a colonoscopy and he refuses. Any advice how I can convince him how important this is?

    10 Answers from the Community

    10 answers
    • nancyjac's Avatar

      You can't. It is his decision to make. I understand your frustration and why you feel it is important, but everyone has their own priorities, and in the grand scheme of things, this may not be at the top of his priority list yet. Generally, the benefits of a colonoscopy do not start to outweigh the risks until age 50. Your dad is only 52 so he really isn't far behind schedule. I'm sure if it were a high priority, his own physician would lay out the risk/benefit analysis for him.

      almost 9 years ago
    • PhillieG's Avatar

      Likewise, I don't believe that you can. He has to wake up and do this on his own. But just because he may "Feel Fine" that's NOT an indicator that he IS fine by any means.

      I was 46, I felt fine, and mine was caught during my yearly physical due to high Liver Function markers. I had no symptoms to speak of either. Caught at Stage IV Colon Cancer by "luck". That was in Feb 2004.

      If YOUR bout of Stage III Rectal Cancer didn't sound any alarms for your Dad, I doubt anything will.
      No disrespect intended but maybe from the view your Dad has, everything looks fine... Denial is a very dangerous thing. I have little doubt that you will change his mind. Is he of the mindset that nobody's going to probe his butt and that cancer happens to "other people".
      Guess what? We are those "Other People"...

      BTW: Does your Dad get yearly physicals at all?
      Good luck!

      almost 9 years ago
    • GregP_WN's Avatar

      I will pile on what Nancy and Phillie have said. My dad wasn't about to do anything that he didn't absolutely have to, and he had colon cancer, prostate cancer, bone and bladder. Your's may be like mine was. Also, during my last go around with cancer, during a pet scan, they told me the "oh by the way" thing, you also have some hot spots showing in your colon you need to get checked. That layed there untill all my treatments were done, then I had the colonoscopy, I had a pre-cancerous pollup, (whatever that means) that the surgeon described as a BIG OLE HONKIN POLLUP. I wouldnt have known it was there if not for the scan. Likewise your dad wont know if he has anything unless he is checked. Still, we are back where we started, if he doesn't want to, your not going to get him to.

      I wish you luck in your efforts.

      almost 9 years ago
    • Stella's Avatar

      I have the same issue with some of my close friends. I know for you it is a high priority that he have a colonoscopy. What I was told is that family members should have a colonoscopy 10 years younger than you were at your diagnosis. Plus, from what I have read, it seems that we should routinely have them done starting at age 40. Did you have genetic testing? And did he go with you? Does he understand that the goal of doing colonoscopies is not to find cancer, but to remove polyps that could turn into cancer? Maybe he will be more open to discussions now that you are done with treatment?

      almost 9 years ago
    • Mikeb's Avatar

      Thanks to everyone for your opinion. Part of the problem I forgot to mention is that my dad is extreamly overweight. He has told me the number one reason is because he is embarrassed of his size. My entire family has had colonoscopy including my 6 younger sisters that range in age from 16 to 24. My mom has also had one done. Thre is just no getting through to him. Yes, he does get yearly physicals but that just started 2 years ago. Before that he stayed away from the doctor as much as he could.

      almost 9 years ago
    • abrub's Avatar

      Tell your father that there is nothing that the drs haven't seen before in size and weight. By the way, the dr who did my husband's last colonoscopy was morbidly obese himself - and I mean HUGE! Remind him that you want to keep him around. However, ultimately, it is his decision.

      almost 9 years ago
    • fightingintx's Avatar

      Maybe your Dad was like me. I actually had the bleeding and pain but still put off the test. One reason was that insurance was an issue. I had insurance with a high deductable that I could not pay. I think the REAL reason was I was afraid they might find something. Fear can make you run in two directions, one for an answer and the other not wanting to know. If he has watched you go through your treatment then he now what he MAY be up against. My GP did not push me hard enough and I blamed him for a long time. Then I finally placed the blame on me because it really was my decision. Just another way to understand what may be going through his mind.

      over 8 years ago
    • CrazyHarry's Avatar

      It's his life. Sometimes when you let things like this go, he will find his way to the correct path. See if you can detach yourself from the eventual outcome.

      My diagnosis has prompted at least 5 to get their colonoscopies....As well as my older brother who was "waiting" for the right moment.

      over 8 years ago
    • yiyayiya's Avatar

      I totally agree with your dad. 99% of all "preventative" tests are unneccessary and many like colonoscopies can cause problems. I have never had nor will ever have any of these invasive procedures. Also it is his decision, not yours. Also there is significant evidence that these procedures do not reduce the occurrance or survival of cancer. I salute your Dad and suggest to him to definitely keep refusing it.

      almost 8 years ago
    • yiyayiya's Avatar

      Further to my recent post - look at http://www.bodboss.com/2011/11/5-reasons-not-to-have-colonoscopy.html as just one of thousands of sites that give the truth about these procedures.

      almost 8 years ago

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