Colonoscopy Singapore: Why do People Avoid the Procedure?

Updated on October 27, 2023

Colonoscopy is a procedure for examining the colon (large intestine) for potential issues. These issues can range from polyps, to tumors, or inflammation.

It aids in early detection of cancer. As you probably, already understand, this early detection is key for successful treatment. During this procedure, a thin, flexible tube with a camera (colonoscope) is used to view the lining of the colon.

If any abnormalities are found, they can be biopsied. They can also be removed. For a detailed discussion on what you can expect when scheduled for colonoscopy in Singapore including preparation, please check this page:

But, why do People Avoid Colonoscopies?

People sometimes avoid colonoscopies due to various reasons, even though this procedure is crucial for detecting potential colon health issues. Here are seven most notable reasons behind this avoidance;

  1. Fear of Discomfort and Pain: The thought of discomfort and pain during a colonoscopy can deter individuals. It involves the insertion of a flexible tube through the rectum into the colon. While anesthesia is used to minimize pain, the anticipation of any pain can be anxiety-inducing. However, modern techniques and sedation help manage discomfort effectively.
  2. Embarrassment and Privacy Concerns: Many find the idea of having a tube inserted into their colon embarrassing and invasive. People may feel exposed, raising concerns about their privacy. However, healthcare professionals perform colonoscopies with utmost professionalism, prioritizing patients’ dignity and modesty.
  3. Fear of Findings: Some people worry that a colonoscopy might reveal serious health issues like cancer or polyps. The fear of receiving bad news and dealing with potential treatment can lead to avoidance. It’s important to remember that early detection through colonoscopy can significantly improve the outcomes of such conditions.
  4. Bowel Preparation Challenges: Prior to the procedure, patients need to undergo bowel preparation, which involves consuming a special diet and taking laxatives to clear the colon. This process can be uncomfortable, involving frequent trips to the bathroom and a limited diet. However, proper understanding of the importance and following medical instructions can make this process more manageable.
  5. Anxiety and Claustrophobia: The unfamiliarity of medical procedures and being in a medical environment can trigger anxiety and even claustrophobia (fear of confined spaces). These feelings can intensify the reluctance to undergo a colonoscopy. Openly discussing these fears with healthcare providers can lead to strategies for managing anxiety.
  6. Lack of Awareness and Misconceptions: Some individuals might not fully comprehend the significance of colonoscopies in preventing serious conditions. Misconceptions about the procedure’s invasiveness, pain, or necessity might lead to avoidance. Educating oneself about the procedure’s benefits and clarifying doubts with medical professionals is essential.
  7. Cost and Accessibility Concerns: Financial constraints and limited access to healthcare facilities can deter people from scheduling a colonoscopy. The procedure’s cost, especially if not covered by insurance and the availability of nearby medical facilities can pose significant barriers. However, exploring options like insurance coverage and local clinics can help address these concerns.

And why do Doctors Push Colonoscopy?

There are several compelling reasons why your doctor would insist on you having your colonoscopy in Singapore. Usually, the key focus is safeguarding your health. Here are eight key reasons why your doctor would want you to have a colonoscopy;

  1. Early Detection of Colon Cancer: Colon cancer is a formidable contributor to cancer-related fatalities, often stealthily advancing without early symptoms. Colonoscopy emerges as a powerful tool for identifying precancerous growths or polyps and intervening before they evolve into cancer. This proactive strategy significantly heightens the probability of preventing or effectively treating colon cancer. Doctors visualize the colon’s lining to spot abnormalities in their nascent stages, permitting timely action.
  2. Accurate Diagnosis of Gastrointestinal Symptoms: When you grapple with persistent digestive concerns like unexplained weight loss, abdominal discomfort, or shifts in bowel patterns, your doctor might suggest colonoscopy in Singapore for precise diagnosis. This procedure facilitates a direct visual exploration of the colon, aiding in the identification of underlying issues. Conditions like Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and various gastrointestinal disorders become discernible through this method, allowing for targeted treatment.
  3. Polyp Removal to Prevent Cancer Development: Beyond mere detection, colonoscopy extends the benefit of immediate polyp removal. Certain polyps harbor the potential to evolve into cancerous entities over time. When these polyps are extracted during the procedure, doctors effectively stymie their progression into cancer. This proactive step substantially diminishes the likelihood of future complications and represents a critical prevention measure.
  4. Monitoring and Surveillance: For patients with a history of polyps or colon cancer, a regimen of regular colonoscopies is a standard recommendation. This surveillance-oriented approach enables physicians to closely monitor the patient’s condition, promptly identifying any recurrence. This ongoing vigilance ensures that potential concerns are addressed early, thereby enhancing the overall prognosis and therapeutic outcomes.
  5. Identification of Unseen Bleeding Sources: Concealed bleeding within the digestive tract can serve as a potent indicator of grave conditions such as colorectal cancer or gastrointestinal bleeding. Colonoscopy emerges as a pivotal tool in tracing the origin of this bleeding. This capacity to pinpoint the source of bleeding expedites accurate diagnosis and facilitates the application of appropriate treatments.
  6. Detection of Inflammatory Conditions: Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) like Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis can lead to enduring complications. Colonoscopy’s visual capabilities facilitate the assessment of inflammation extent. This insight empowers doctors to navigate treatment decisions and gauge the effectiveness of ongoing therapeutic interventions, thereby improving disease management.
  7. Symptomatic Relief through Intervention: The merits of colonoscopy extend beyond diagnostics, enabling doctors to intervene during the procedure itself. For instance, when a narrowed segment of the colon (stricture) impairs comfort or obstructs stool passage, doctors can engage in dilation or alleviate the issue. Such real-time interventions offer immediate relief to the patient, significantly improving their quality of life.
  8. Personalized Screening Recommendations: Doctors create colonoscopy recommendations tailored to individual risk profiles encompassing factors like family history, age, and medical background. This personalized approach ensures that patients receive timely and pertinent screenings. By aligning screening practices with specific risk factors, doctors optimize the procedure’s advantages and contribute to more effective health maintenance.

A Final Word on Why People Avoid Colonoscopy

The varied reasons for avoiding colonoscopies are valid. But, they can often be mitigated through accurate information, open communication with healthcare providers, and understanding the potential life-saving benefits of the procedure.

Overcoming these barriers is crucial to ensuring timely detection and intervention for various colon health issues. If you’ve been recommended colonoscopy in Singapore but still need more clarification or information on the procedure before making a decision, get in touch with our gastro specialist to schedule a consultation and have your concerns addressed. Call or visit us at;

The Andrea’s Digestive, Colon, Liver and Gall Bladder Clinic

101 Irrawaddy Road #21-11/12

Royal Square Medical Centre

Singapore 329565

+65 6264-2836

The Editorial Team at Healthcare Business Today is made up of skilled healthcare writers and experts, led by our managing editor, Daniel Casciato, who has over 25 years of experience in healthcare writing. Since 1998, we have produced compelling and informative content for numerous publications, establishing ourselves as a trusted resource for health and wellness information. We offer readers access to fresh health, medicine, science, and technology developments and the latest in patient news, emphasizing how these developments affect our lives.