April 2019 – Colorectal Cancer

April 2019 – Colorectal Cancer

Colorectal Cancer

 

Cancer is a disease in which cells in the body grow out of control. When cancer starts in the colon or rectum, it is called colorectal cancer or colon cancer, for short. I’ve had several clients that are due to have a colonoscopy and were concerned about the prep and why they have to have it every ten years. As we age, our immune systems are not as effective as when we were younger.

 

Colorectal cancer affects men and women of all racial and ethnic groups, and is most often found in people aged 50-years or older. In the United States, it is the third most common cancer for men and women. Of cancers that affect both men and women, colorectal cancer is the second leading cancer killer in the United States, but it doesn’t have to be.

 

Colorectal cancer screening saves lives!! Screening can find precancerous polyps–abnormal growths in the colon or rectum–so they can be removed before turning into cancer. Screening also helps find colorectal cancer at an early stage when treatment often leads to a cure. About nine out of ten people whose cancers are found early and treated are still alive five years later.

 

If you are 50 or older, get screened now. Speak with your health care provider as a colonoscopy is covered under most insurances. The diagnostic procedure uses a fiber optic camera to examine a patient’s colon under anesthesia. It is done as an outpatient procedure but you have to have another person along to drive you home. Some preps can be taken at the office the day of the test. There is also a newer test that can be sent in the mail and does not take all the preparation that the colonoscopy requires. No excuses not to get screened!! A colonoscopy can be a lifesaving diagnostic tool.

 

Nurse Barbara