Friday, June 14, 2013
Wednesday, March 20, 2013
Drs. Schnoll-Sussman and Lebwohl provide five facts that everyone should know to help reduce their risk of colon cancer.
- Get screened -- it could save your life.
Screening can detect early cancers as well as polyps before they become cancer. Men and women should begin screening at age 50.
- Screening is done when you feel well.
Colon polyps and early cancers often cause no symptoms. You could have colon cancer and not even know it. This is why screening -- before symptoms occur -- is essential!
- Know your risk factors.
Certain risk factors may require screening to be performed at a younger age. These include inflammatory bowel disease, a personal or family history of colon cancer, colon polyps, or certain hereditary conditions that can cause colon cancer, such as Lynch syndrome or familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP). Ask your doctor about when to start screening if you have any of these risk factors.
- Put down that cigarette and get moving.
There are a few lifestyle changes you can make to reduce your risk, such as quitting smoking, avoiding excess intake of red and processed meats, maintaining a healthy body weight, and exercise. Smokers also have an increased risk of developing colon cancer. Replace those cigarettes with colorful fruits and vegetables!
- Remember, colon cancer does not discriminate.One in twenty people are diagnosed with cancer of the colon or rectum in their lifetime, and it affects both men and women. While those with a family history of colon polyps or cancer are at increased risk and need to begin screening at a younger age, the vast majority of people who develop colon cancer have no family history of the disease.
Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Having to tell your families is brutal. Having to explain it to co-works, friends and other loved ones forces you to relive the pain, but sometimes not knowing what is next is all you can focus on. The Huntsman Cancer Institute provides some wonderful online learning resources.
Here is what they have to say about the staging of Colon Cancer.
If the biopsy shows that cancer is present, the doctor needs to know the stage (extent) of the disease to plan the best treatment. The stage is based on whether the tumor has invaded nearby tissues, whether the cancer has spread and, if so, to what parts of the body.
- Blood tests: Doctors check for specific substances in the blood that indicate cancer is present. Some people who have colorectal cancer have a high level of carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA).
- Colonoscopy: If colonoscopy was not performed for diagnosis, doctors check for abnormal areas along the entire length of the colon and rectum with a colonoscope. Watch our Introduction to Colonoscopy video.
- Endorectal ultrasound: An ultrasound probe is inserted into the rectum. The probe uses high-energy sound waves bounced off internal tissues or organs in the abdomen to make echoes. The echoes form a picture called a sonogram. The picture can be printed to be looked at later.
- X-ray: An x-ray is a type of energy beam that can go through the body and onto film, making a picture of areas inside the body.
- CT scan: Doctors often use CT scans to take pictures of tissue inside the body. An x-ray machine linked to a computer takes several pictures. The pictures may show whether cancer has spread to lymph nodes or other areas in the body.
Read the full article and check out more wonderful resources from The Huntsman Cancer Institute at http://www.huntsmancancer.org/cancer-information/cancer-types-and-topics/colorectal-cancer
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Health care providers may suggest one or more of the following tests for colorectal cancer screening:
* Fecal occult blood test (FOBT)— This test checks for hidden blood in fecal material (stool). Currently, two types of FOBT are available. One type, called guaiac FOBT, uses the chemical guaiac to detect heme in stool. Heme is the iron-containing component of the blood protein hemoglobin. The other type of FOBT, called immunochemical FOBT, uses antibodies to detect human hemoglobin protein in stool (13–15). Studies have shown that FOBT, when performed every 1 to 2 years in people ages 50 to 80, can help reduce the number of deaths due to colorectal cancer by 15 to 33 percent (13–15).
* Sigmoidoscopy— In this test, the rectum and lower colon are examined using a lighted instrument called a sigmoidoscope. During sigmoidoscopy, precancerous and cancerous growths in the rectum and lower colon can be found and either removed or biopsied. Studies suggest that regular screening with sigmoidoscopy after age 50 can help reduce the number of deaths from colorectal cancer (14). A thorough cleansing of the lower colon is necessary for this test.
* Colonoscopy—In this test, the rectum and entire colon are examined using a lighted instrument called a colonoscope. During colonoscopy, precancerous and cancerous growths throughout the colon can be found and either removed or biopsied, including growths in the upper part of the colon, where they would be missed by sigmoidoscopy. However, it is not yet known for certain whether colonoscopy can help reduce the number of deaths from colorectal cancer. A thorough cleansing of the colon is necessary before this test, and most patients receive some form of sedation.
* Virtual colonoscopy (also called computerized tomographic colonography)—In this test, special x-ray equipment is used to produce pictures of the colon and rectum. A computer then assembles these pictures into detailed images that can show polyps and other abnormalities. Because it is less invasive than standard colonoscopy and sedation is not needed, virtual colonoscopy may cause less discomfort and take less time to perform. As with standard colonoscopy, a thorough cleansing of the colon is necessary before this test. Whether virtual colonoscopy can reduce the number of deaths from colorectal cancer is not yet known.
* Double contrast barium enema (DCBE)—In this test, a series of x-rays of the entire colon and rectum are taken after the patient is given an enema with a barium solution and air is introduced into the colon. The barium and air help to outline the colon and rectum on the x-rays. Research shows that DCBE may miss small polyps. It detects about 30 to 50 percent of the cancers that can be found with standard colonoscopy (14).
* Digital rectal exam (DRE)—In this test, a health care provider inserts a lubricated, gloved finger into the rectum to feel for abnormal areas. DRE allows examination of only the lower part of the rectum. It is often performed as part of a routine physical examination.
Scientists are still studying colorectal cancer screening methods, both alone and in combination, to determine how effective they are. Studies are also under way to clarify the potential risks, or harms, of each test. See Question 5 for a table outlining some of the advantages and disadvantages, including potential harms, of specific colorectal cancer screening tests.
Saturday, February 20, 2010
I just found these guys and I'm looking into it myself. If you've used them let me know what you think or how it went! I'm excited for something like this.
Thursday, January 14, 2010
Colon cancer screenings (and there are four types) are the best way to prevent colon cancer. As you'll learn through your own research and discussions with doctors, catching colon cancer in it's early stages allows a lot of time to combat it.
I learned that in Utah Medicare covers a colonoscopy every two years for people with Medicare at high risk for colorectal cancer. There is no age limit. Some high risk factors include, but are not limited to:
- A close relative (sibling, parent or child) has had colorectal cancer or an adenomatous polyp.
- There is a family history of familial adenomatous polyposis
- There is a family history of hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer
- There is a personal history of adenomatous polyps
- There is a personal history of colorectal cancer
- There is a personal history of inflammatory bowel disease, including Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.
Medicare covers a colonoscopy every 10 years for people with Medicare who are not at high risk for colorectal cancer. There is no age limit.
Medicare covers several colorectal cancer screening tests. Talk with your doctor about the screening test that is right for you. All people age 50 and older with Medicare are covered. However, there is no minimum age for having a colonoscopy.
Colonoscopy: Medicare covers this test once every 24 months if you are at high risk for colorectal cancer. If you aren’t at high risk for colorectal cancer, the test is covered once every 10 years, but not within 48 months of a screening flexible sigmoidoscopy.
This is just for people in Utah.
To learn more about coverage in your area visit: http://www.medicare.gov/coverage/Home.asp
When you're on the site you can choose your state and then select "Colorectal Cancer Screening" from the next menu.
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
This video isn't meant to gross people out or scare people. This is one of the most professional and informational videos I have ever seen. The doctor explains the colonoscopy as its happening and what you (the viewer) are looking at.
Colonoscopies save lives. Live heathly in 2010. Happy New Year!!