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    March Is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

    by Ngozi Osuagwu, MD | March 20th, 2016

    March Is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

    Getting the diagnosis of cancer is not easy; however there are some cancers, when found in a precancerous state or even in the early stages can be cured – Colorectal cancer is one of those cancers. Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer and the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States. The CDC states that if everyone age 50 years or older had regular screening test, at least 60% of deaths from this cancer could be avoided. Unfortunately, 28% of Americans have not been screened for colon cancer and the statistics are higher for Blacks and Hispanic Americans. We can all make a difference.

    1. Listen to your body – If you are having blood in or on your stool (bowel movement), or stomach aches, pains, or cramps that do not go away and/or losing weight and you do not know why – schedule an appointment to see your doctor.
    2. Get your screening test – This could be a colonoscopy, virtual colonoscopy, flexible sigmoidoscopy, double-contrast barium enema, stool occult blood test or stool DNA test. Personally, I would just get the colonoscopy. Screening starts at age 50 for people who are at average risk for getting colon cancer, however if you are black screening should start at age 45. Blacks tend to be diagnosed with colon cancer at an earlier age. Other people who should get screened earlier than 50 years old include people with a family history of colon cancer or history of inflammatory bowel disease or a genetic syndrome related to colon cancer.
    3. Be physically active – I would love this to happen every day, but at a minimum 30 minutes a day, at least 5 days a week.
    4. Do not smoke, if you do smoke, quit – call 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) to get help to quit
    5. If you drink alcohol, have no more than one drink a day if you are a woman or two drinks a day if you are a man
    6. Eat fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Eat less red meat and cut out processed meat

     

    For more information on colorectal cancer, please visit here.

    I had my colonoscopy on September 11, 2015 and I wrote about my journey. You can also visit my blog titled –  It is not everyday I get to talk about poop. If you are of the age to get your colonoscopy, get screened. If you know someone who is at the age to be screened, encourage them to get screened. Colorectal screening saves lives. Remember it is not a one-time thing; follow up according to your physician’s advice.

    Share the information with your family and friends.

     

    One Response to “March Is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month”

    1. Chinwe O says:

      Thanks for the reminder. I had mine in December 2015 and I am glad to report that it is not a bad experience. Better safe than sorry.

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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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