Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

Deanna Bogart did what health experts at Ingham Regional Medical Center are promoting throughout March and April: and annual screening for colon cancer.

The anesthesia that made her groggy should wear off soon, and she hasn't eaten in 24 hours.

"That was the hard part. The easy part was getting it done," Deanna said.

During a colonoscopy, a scope is inserted in the large intestine and what doctors are looking for are polyps. While not all polyps are cancerous, it can take up to 10 years for them to develop. So to prevent that, doctors can remove the polyps during the procedure.

"Those over age 50 need to have one. IF you have a family history of polyps or the disease, the screening begins at 40. IF you have polyps they will want to see you back in five years, but if everything's clear, your next screening will be in 10 years." Joanie Birdsall, R.N.

Following those guidelines is what could have saved Dorothy Nelson's brother and uncle who both died of colon cancer. Now she's encouraging more people to get screened.

"Everyday I'm reminded that I lost my brother. But it's good to see when people get early screenings," Dorothy Nelson.

While she helps Deanna head home for a decent meal, they found out her test results were fine. What's even better is she took a simple step to prevent colon cancer.

Call Ingham for a free Fecal Occult Blood Test. It's another way to test for colorectal cancer in the privacy of your home: 1-877-224-4325.

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Colorectal Cancer

  • Colorectal cancer includes cancers of the colon, rectum, appendix, and some anal cancers.

  • Colorectal cancers most often begin as benign polyps which later develop into cancers.

  • Colorectal cancers are the second largest cause of cancer deaths in the United States.

  • It was estimated that in 2002, there would be 148,300 new cases detected and that there would be about 56,600 deaths.

Early Detection

  • Despite its high incidence, colorectal cancer is one of the most detectable and, if found early enough, most treatable forms of cancer.

  • The survival rate for people with colorectal cancers found early is more than 90 percent.

Symptoms

  • The most common symptom of colorectal cancer is no symptom.

  • Colorectal cancer can be present in people without symptoms, known family history, or predisposing conditions, such as inflammatory bowel disease.

  • Regular screening will help identify pre-cancerous polyps and colorectal cancers earlier.

  • Screening for colorectal cancer works in three ways:
    • First, by finding cancers early when treatment is most effective.
    • Second, by finding growths (polyps) inside the colon and removing them before they become cancer.
    • Third, by finding cancers early when treatment is most effective.

Most People Don't Screen

  • In a recent survey of Americans over 50 conducted by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), only 40 percent reported that they had ever had an FOBT (the take-home stool card test) and only 42 percent reported that they had ever had a flexible sigmoidoscopy.

  • This compares to 85 percent of women who were screened for breast cancer.

Source: http://www.ccalliance.org/index.html (The Colon Cancer Alliance Web Site)


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