March Awareness – Colorectal Cancer Month – Empower Yourself and Get Screened
Colorectal cancer is the fourth most common cancer in the United States and the second leading cause of death from cancer. It affects people in all racial and ethnic groups. Certain groups are affected more than others and lower screening rates is the answer. Individuals that are ages 50 and over, have less education and important information, lack health insurance, and less income are less likely to be screened early and often. Sixty percent of deaths from colorectal cancer could be prevented if these groups were screened consistently. Knowing is important because most people don’t have symptoms showing.
There are several risk factors that can increase your chance for developing colorectal cancer. If you eat a lot of red meats, processed food, low amounts of fruits and veggies, smoke, and are obese your risk factor increases. If you do not exercise, have a family member with a history of colorectal cancer, inflammatory bowel disease your risk factor increases. If you are wise Screening Saves Lives! Screening will help physicians see polyps in your colon or rectum before they develop into cancer. The two screening categories are tests that look for blood in the stool (FOBT) and tests that look inside the colon (Colonoscopy and Sigmoidoscopy). The details can be found on cdc.gov website. Most medical professionals recommend a colonoscopy because it can remove polyps that can later turn into cancer leading to mortality .
Bringing Medication Education Near You!
It is important to prepare properly by following your doctor’s instructions by cleaning out the entire colon before getting a colonoscopy. Not preparing properly may cause inaccurate results which will lead to retests. While preparing for colonoscopy only clear liquid diets can be consumed. Before you begin prep make sure you get all the supplies you will need to make the process go smoothly. Purchase soft tissue or baby wipes (without alcohol), clear fluids, magazines and candles for bathroom, and vaseline to rub onto anal area after each bowel movement. The day before test no solid foods can be eaten, and no dark liquids can be drinking. Your doctor will determine what bowel prep you will use based on the medications you take and your medical history. Aspirin and NSAIDS, warfarin and other anticoagulants, iron, and herbal supplements may need to be stopped before test. Some brands are Colyte, Golytely, Nulytely, Moviprep, Suprep, and some others. You will have many watery bowel movements so stay close to a bathroom. During the test you will be put to sleep and a thin scope will be inserted to look for any cancer causing polyps, which can be removed at the same time.
Don’t let screening for colorectal cancer cause you strife. Getting a colonoscopy can save your life!