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Kim Ledgerwood

HealthyWomen's Editorial Director

As HealthyWomen’s editorial director, Kim oversees the production of all content and ensures that it is aligned with our mission and meets our high editorial standards.

Kim is an editor and award-winning copywriter with more than 25 years of experience. She started her career as a copywriter and broadcast producer at the Southeast’s largest full-service advertising agency, The Tombras Group. Since then, she has worked for a wide variety of clients, ranging from Fortune 500 companies to indie authors across multiple industries and topics.

She holds a bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, as well as a master’s degree in advertising from The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. She lives in Towson, Maryland, with her husband, three children, and a menagerie of pets.

Full Bio
doctor talking to patient lying down getting ready to have a colonoscopy

Comic: Meg Gets a Colonoscopy

Colorectal screening saves lives

Your Health

Medically reviewed by Ayanna Lewis, M.D.

Designed by Elizabeth Gething

Comic page 1 of 3. Click to view full PDF.

Comic page 2 of 3. Click to view full PDF.

Comic page 3 of 3. Click to view full PDF.

… 3 days before

A woman, Meg, around age 45 whose race is ambiguous, is receiving a RX at the pharmacy

Pharmacist: So, you’re having a colonoscopy? Good for you. Here’s your medicine for the prep. Be sure to read the instructions carefully.

Meg: I’ve heard it can be rough! Is there anything I can do to make it easier?

Pharmacist: Yeah, you’ll want to stay close to the bathroom. But you can eat a low-fiber diet a few days before to make it a little easier.

The day before your procedure, stick to a clear liquid diet.

(Pull out) Avoid

Whole grains

Nuts & Seeds

Dried fruit

Raw fruit


… the day before

Reading the back of the box

Then show her taking the pills and drinking


Bowel prep kits can be liquid, tables, pills or powder

Meg … Thought bubble: So, I have to take these pills with a full glass of water until I finish them.

Convey that Meg is doing things around her house — be sure her ambiguous-gendered partner and kids make appearances in the background — as she waits for the prep to kick in

Thought bubble: Hmmm … the prep isn’t working.

Thought bubble: I really thought I’d be feeling it by now.

Show a surprised face and then show Meg running to and from the bathroom a few times, maybe with Tazmanian devil lines all around her

Oh! Now it’s working!

Yup, it’s working!

The two kids heads and a dog’s head pop in to the frame as they watch Meg run to the bathroom.

It must be finally working!


Have these handy:

Baby or adult wipes with aloe & vitamin E

Diaper cream

Petroleum jelly

… the day of

Meg enters the facility with her partner.

Receptionist: Are you ready for the big day? Do you have someone here to drive you home?

Meg: Yes, my partner’s going to stay with me.

Quick series to show her putting on a medical gown, and then in an OR with a big screen next to her with a medical team around her, she should be lying on her left side.

Show external monitor that the doctor will be looking at

Nurse: Here, you go. C hange into this gown. Everything comes off! Don’t worry, it sounds worse than it is. You won’t feel a thing, and it’ll be over before you know it.

Doctor says: We’re just going to make you comfortable, give you a sedative and use a small camera to take a look at your colon. We’ll be checking for polyps and any other abnormalities.

Meg is on the table, lying on her left side, with an anesthesiologist nearby

Anesthesiologist: Count backward from 100.

Meg wakes up and sees her partner in the chair next to her in a recovery room (or stall)

Meg: When are they doing the procedure?

Partner: You’re finished, it’s done!

Meg: It’s done? All that worrying for nothing?

Doctor walks in

Doctor: The lead-up is definitely worse than the procedure. And I’ve got your results right here. Everything looked good, and you don’t have to visit me again for 10 years.

No butts about it — screening is easy!

Screening Guidelines

Risk Factors Include

All adults should be screened for colon cancer regularly starting at age 45.

Adults with increased risk factors may need to be screened earlier. Ask your healthcare provider what’s good for you.

Family history of colorectal cancer

Inflammatory bowel disease

Certain genetic syndromes, including Lynch syndrome

Tobacco & alcohol use

Overweight and obesity

A low-fiber, high-fat diet

Ashkenazi Jewish heritage

Follow-Up Guidelines

After your test is over, your HCP will tell you when to get screened again.

If you have polyps, follow up could be anywhere from one month to 10 years.

For more information, please visit

This resource was created with support from Merck.

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