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    DON’T ASSUME

    by Ngozi Osuagwu, MD | March 3rd, 2019

    DON’T ASSUME

    When I saw the ad placed by the Colorectal Cancer Alliance, I smiled. It surely caught my attention.  March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month and it should catch everyone’s attention. Colorectal cancer, when found early can be treated.  Don’t ASSume is the Colorectal Cancer Alliance’s 2019 National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month public awareness campaign.

    Don’t Assume we can’t beat colorectal cancer – Colorectal cancer is cancer that starts in the colon or rectum. It is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer and the second leading cause of cancer death in men and women combined in the United States. Colorectal cancer is the most preventable and treatable type of cancer.

    Don’t Assume you’re too young for colorectal cancer – The rate of young people being diagnosed with colorectal cancer has increased. The new age to get screening is now 45 years old for all, however if you have had a relative diagnosed earlier with colorectal cancer you might be screened earlier. Also, if you have symptoms, you do not have to wait until you are 45 years old to be checked. Symptoms include change in bowel habits, persistent abdominal discomfort, rectal bleeding and weakness or fatigue.

    Don’t Assume you’re alone – if you are diagnosed with colorectal cancer, you are not alone. Do not let lack of insurance stop you from getting the necessary care. You can log onto dontassume.org for more information.

    What are some of the things you can do to reduce your risk of getting colorectal cancer:

    1. Eat well – Diets high in vegetable, fruits and other plant foods can reduce your risk. You want to limit the amount of red meat you eat. You want to avoid processed meats like hot dogs, ham, bacon and sausages.
    2. Exercise – Research shows adults who increase their physical activity, can reduce their risk of developing colorectal cancer by 30 – 40 per cent. Exercise helps with maintaining a healthy weight which is important for decreasing the risk of cancer.
    3. Know your family history – If you have a family history, you will need to be screened earlier. Please talk with your physician.
    4. Avoid alcohol and cigarettes
    5. Listen to your body – if you have any of the symptoms discussed above, do not ignore the symptoms, get checked out.

    The source of the above information is from the Colorectal Cancer Alliance. For more information on colorectal cancer, please check the Colorectal Cancer Alliance.

    If you are not sure about the colonoscopy, please check out the previous blogs:

    IT IS NOT EVERYDAY I GET TO TALK ABOUT POOP

    MY COLONOSCOPY JOURNEY

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    The book discusses common gynecological and women’s health issues in a series of witty and entertaining letters. These letters, all educational, offer suggestions on what approaches to take in tackling the medical problems that typically bring women to an ob/gynecologist. The letters are spiced with art, a poem and quotes. Although its emphasis is on gynecology and women’s health, it touches on some other medical issues that make women visit their doctors.

    The second half of the book briefly discusses the most common gynecological conditions and also provides an overview of sexually transmitted infections. A list of annotated websites dealing with the different topics in the book is provided for the reader who wants to pursue each subject in depth.




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