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Brittney Gross

Other Other Previvor Texas
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I started taking a migraine medication that made me very constipated. Once I stopped the medicine, the constipation never improved.

I started taking IBS medication from my PCP who said she would refer me to a GI physician if the symptoms didn't get better. My symptoms included ongoing change in bowel habits, narrow stools, and I was unable to have a bowel movement (bowel obstruction) or constipation.

I just had a feeling that I should seek out care from a GI physician myself. The physician said my symptoms were likely from the medication, but we could do a colonoscopy to be sure since I also had a family history of polyps.

I had a colonoscopy scheduled in November 2022 but pushed it off because the procedure did not sound fun, and I was scared of the bill I would receive. However, something inside me told me to reschedule and have it done.

I finally had the colonoscopy in May 2023, at age 28, and they found a precancerous polyp, which they removed. A couple weeks later in the office for a follow-up, I was told if I had not had this removed, it would have turned into cancer by the time I was in my 40s.

I was shocked because as a dietitian I reduced/eliminated processed meats and alcohol from my diet and still had a polyp. I was relieved to know this was caught early, and I will now go every three years to have a follow-up colonoscopy.

To our surprise the insurance covered the procedure at 100%. I did have to pay for the physician and anesthesia fees. We were fully expecting a couple thousand dollar bill. I wish insurance would cover this procedure earlier for everyone.

Something Congress needs to know about colorectal cancer patients' needs is that colorectal cancer is occurring at younger ages. Insurance companies must start covering preventive colonoscopies for people in their 20s and when physicians deem them necessary. We cannot let the cost of a colonoscopy prevent people from seeking out care and taking care of themselves.

My advice to anyone who may be afraid to seek medical advice or colorectal cancer screening is this: If anything feels off or if something inside of you is telling you to get it checked out, listen to your body.

A colonoscopy is really not as bad as it seems. The procedure is fast, pain free, and over before you know it.

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