Before any medical procedure or test, it is only natural to be plagued by varying degrees of the jitters.

While colorectal cancer is the second biggest cancer killer in Canada, it can be prevented and, if caught early has an over 90% cure rate. Most adults are aware that a colonoscopy is a proven screening tool to catch pre-cancer or cancer cells in the colon and rectum. However, many shy away from testing due to anxiety or embarrassment.

The uncertainty of pain or side effects can unnerve even the most fearless among us. Not to mention the humility one faces during the close encounter with their gastroenterologist and their medical team.

If you’re worried about feeling pain in such a sensitive part of the body, you’re not alone. However, it may help you to know that prior to your colonoscopy, you will be given a mild sedative that will diminish your discomfort.

As for issues of privacy, doctors and nurses who perform colonoscopies on a regular basis understand that people may be feeling self-conscious during the procedure, so they behave professionally and respectfully toward patients and the procedure is done in a closed off room.

Being well informed about the details of this important prevention and detection procedure is the first step in calming your nerves and removing any reservations you may have. Try to sit down with your doctor before your colonoscopy appointment to review any questions or concerns that you may have.

In the meantime, why not try laughter as the prescription to melt your fears away. Gastroenterologist Patricia Raymond, a.k.a. ‘The Divine Ms. Butt Meddler,’ founder of Your Health Choice and Rx For Sanity, has created a website, Laugh your fears away, which discusses the very serious and taboo subject of colonoscopies in a light hearted way. Her efforts to reduce the colonoscopy ‘ick’ factor humorously helps folks make the small choices that lead to big health.

Take a look at Ms. Meddler’s charming bowel ballad: