A Well Kept Secret: Little Known Benefits

of colonoscopy:

#4. Several hours of deep, dreamless sleep

#3. Colonic cleansing (in the privacy of your own home!)

#2. Twenty-four hours of a clear liquid fast (without going to a spa!)

#1. Screening for colorectal cancer, the fourth most common cancer among American men and women.

 

Colorectal cancer is cancer of the colon (the large intestine) or rectum.  It is more common in persons over 50. Other risk factors include:

 

  • Polyps (growths that may become cancerous) in the colon or rectum
  • A diet high in fat
  • A family or personal history of colorectal cancer
  • Having Crohn’s Disease or ulcerative colitis.

 

Symptoms of colorectal cancer include:

 

  • Persistent abdominal pain or pressure
  • A change in bowel habits
  • Blood in the stool.

 

However, in the early stages, colorectal cancer often causes no symptoms.

 

Treatment for colorectal cancer depends on the stage and category (or sub-stage) of the cancer.  Stages vary from early, 0, to late, IV (Roman numeral 4).

 

Categories include:

T: the extent of spread of the cancer through the wall of the colon (from 0 to 4)

N: how far the cancer has spread into the lymph nodes (from 0 to 2)

M: whether or not the cancer has spread to other organs (from 0 to 1).

 

Treatment may include one or more of the following:

 

  • Surgery
  • Radiation
  • Chemotherapy.

 

As with most cancers, the treatment and eventual outcome of colorectal cancer is easiest and best when it is caught early.

 

At age 50:

Have a stool test for occult (microscopic) blood. Repeat it yearly.

Have a colonoscopy and then repeat the colonoscopy as often as recommended by your healthcare professional.

 

The number one benefit of colonoscopy is screening for the fourth most common cancer among American men and women, colorectal cancer.

 

 

For more information:

 

National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse

 

Medline

 

American Cancer Society

Advertisements

Mary Lou Bernardo, PhD, MSN

Archives

My Recent Tweets

Error: Twitter did not respond. Please wait a few minutes and refresh this page.


%d bloggers like this: