Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Schedule Your Colonoscopy

I had a visit to the gastroenterologist today and while there all of the staff took the time to ask me how Fred was doing. You see Fred is one of their success stories. Fred had his routine screening colonoscopy right before his 50Th birthday and was diagnosed with stage 2b colon cancer. He had no rectal bleeding, no pain, nothing that would indicate a problem. As a matter of fact we had plans to go out to lunch immediately afterward because he was starving from the prep. Instead he had a rush of diagnostic tests and surgery that same day to remove the tumor.
Today 7 + years later he is cancer free.....Because of a routine screening colonoscopy. His cancer was aggressive and by the time he had symptoms, metastasis would have occurred.
On my routine screening colonoscopy at age 50 3 polyps were found and removed.

I don't know why colonoscopy freaks so many people out. OK maybe its embarrassing, inconvenient, or a little uncomfortable. But it is not worth your life!
A few facts:
Colon Cancer is the second leading cause of death from cancer in the US.

Colon Cancer is curable if it is detected early.
The cause of colon cancer is unknown but risk factors include:
age 50 or over, history of rectal polyps, family history of colon cancer, history of colitis, smoking, and eating a high fat low fiber diet.
The American Cancer Society has more information here.

I scheduled a colonoscopy today. The office visit took 30 minutes of my time. My test is in 3 weeks. It will take a day of my time. It is time well spent, ensuring my health, my peace of mind and my presence in the lives of my grandchildren.
Won't you join me?

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