How to Throw a Colonoscopy Party

Recently, Steve Martin and his long-time buddy, Martin Short, appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live! and shared details about the colonoscopy parties they host every other year.

Leave it up to a comedic duo to turn the dreaded bowel prep into an overnight event steeped in hilarity, including poker games, funny movies and “drinking all the stuff.” Martin, 72, and Short, 68, invite other celebrity friends like Tom Hanks to join the fun, and the ritual has become an important component of their friendship.

Colonoscopies and Colon Cancer Prevention

A colonoscopy party may not be your first choice when it comes to socializing, but consider this fact: colon cancer is the third-leading cause of cancer death in the United States. About one in every five Americans will develop colon cancer, but most cases are preventable through regular colonoscopies.

Young-onset colon cancer is more common than ever before, and studies show young people are more likely to be diagnosed with advanced-stage colon cancer. For this reason, the American Cancer Society changed its recommendation for a first-time colon cancer screening from age 50 to age 45.

Although there are several types of colon cancer screenings, colonoscopy is the gold standard. Colonoscopy is the most thorough screening because:

  • It allows your doctor to inspect the entire colon, from cecum to rectum, for precancerous polyps.
  • Your doctor can remove a polyp during the colonoscopy, preventing it from developing into cancer.
  • It is the only procedure that can detect and prevent colon cancer.
  • It can reveal other GI issues like diverticulitis, ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease and can allow for immediate treatment.

Turn Your Colonoscopy Prep Into a Party

Preventing colon cancer is a reason to celebrate, so turn your colonoscopy prep into a party! Here are some suggestions on how to infuse your bowel prep with some fun and laughter:

  1. Contact your family and friends and let them know you are getting a colonoscopy.
  2. Ask your loved ones if they are due for a colonoscopy, and suggest they schedule their procedure on the same day.
  3. Tell your group you’d appreciate some support on your bowel prep day, and ask them to reserve that evening on their calendar.
  4. Plan your party! You can plan a movie night, spa night, poker night, board game night, murder mystery party or video game tournament. The gathering can include almost any activity, but make sure there is a nearby restroom. Keep in mind you may feel most comfortable hosting the party in your own home.
  5. Print statistics about colon cancer and the preventive benefits of colonoscopy and display them for your guests to read.
  6. Amp up the fun by making themed colonoscopy prep foods and creating party games. Offer prizes for the best colon prep story or best colonoscopy joke. Commemorate your evening by taking lots of photos.

Schedule Your Screening Today

There’s no substitute for a colonoscopy. Call your gastroenterologist today to schedule a screening. It could save your life.