Monday, March 25, 2013

Get Screened For My Mom

Terrence Howard, Oscar-nominated and award winning actor shares his personal story, in honor of his mom and urges people to get screened for colon cancer.

Howard is the first national ambassador for the Colon Cancer Alliance's new awareness campaign titled, "Sons and Mothers"

Please take a moment to watch the short video. Click Here

HuffPost Healthy Living - I Miss My Mother's Voice  "I loved my mother dearly, more than anything. I miss her voice and the way she used to sing to me. She is an irreplaceable woman and there is not a day that goes by that I don't think about her."  

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Get Screened, It Could Save Your Life

What Is A Colonoscopy?

A colonoscopy is a procedure used to see inside the colon and rectum.  A Colonoscopy can detect inflamed tissue, ulcers and abnormal growth.  The procedure is used to look for signs of colorectal cancer and can help doctors diagnose unexplained changes in bowel habits, abdominal pain, bleeding from the anus and weight loss.

How to Prepare For A Colonoscopy:

The doctor will provide written instructions for bowel prep. Generally, all solids must be emptied from the gastrointestinal tract. Patients should not drink beverages containing red or purple dye. 

All solids must be emptied from following a clear liquid diet for 1 - 3 days before a colonoscopy. 

Option: Colonoscopy preparation using colon hydrotherapy Dr. Joseph Fiorito, Chief Of Gastroenterology

  • During a colonoscopy, a sedative and pain medication helps keep patients relaxed.
  • The doctor can also take samples from abnormal-looking tissues during the colonoscopy and later test them in a laboratory for signs of disease. The procedure is called a biopsy. Polyps are common in adults and are usually harmless. However, most colorectal cancer begins as a polyp, so removing polyps early is an effective way to prevent cancer.

At what age should routine colonoscopy begin?

A routine colonoscopy should begin at age 50 for most people - earlier if there is a family history of colorectal cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, or other risk factors.  The doctor can advise patients how often to get a colonoscopy.

How long does recovery take?

A colonoscopy usually takes 30 to 60 minutes. Cramping or bloating may occur during the first hour after the procedure. The sedative takes time to completely wear off. Full recovery is expected by the next day. Discharge instructions should be carefully read and followed. Driving is not permitted for 24 hours after a colonoscopy to allow the sedative to wear off. 

"Don't die of embarrassment, it could save your life"
-Katie Couric

Myths & Facts: Colorectal Cancer

This message can save your life and your BUTT!

Overcoming the many myths and misconceptions that prevent people from taking action and getting screened.

Myths & Misconceptions:

1. Myth - Colorectal Cancer only affects people over 50

Truth: A majority of colorectal cancers are diagnosed in people over 50 BUT the disease can affect people of any age, especially those with a strong family history of colon cancer. 

2. Myth - Colorectal cancer is a man's disease

Truth: Colorectal cancer does not discriminate and can develop in both men and women. Both men and women should undergo testing for the disease starting at age 50. Individuals with additional risk factors need to begin screening at age 40.  Additional risk factors include: family history, inflammatory bowel disease, smoking, obesity. 

3. Myth - A polyp means I have cancer

Truth: Polyps are benign growths that have the potential to develop into cancer if left unchecked. Not all polyps are pre-cancerous. Early identification and removal of these growths is key to preventing colorectal cancer from developing. Polyps can be easily removed during a colonoscopy.

4. Myth - I don't have any symptoms, so I must be fine

Truth: One of the major misconceptions is that an individual will have symptoms if they have colorectal cancer. Often times, colorectal cancer first develops with minor, if any symptoms.  If you are experiencing any symptoms please discuss them with your MD. It is advised to address early symptoms and not to wait until you feel discomfort or pain.

5. Myth - Smoking won't affect my colon

Truth: Smoking is a risk factor for lung cancer but it's also a risk for colon cancer. So Butt It Out! Study results strengthen the evidence that tobacco use increases the polyp and abnormal growth projecting from a mucous membrane. Inhaled or swallowed tobacco smoke transports carcinogens to the colon.

6. Myth - Colon Cancer is more prevalent in obese individuals

Truth: Excess body weight especially around the midsection and obesity have been clearly linked to an increase risk for colon cancer BUT individuals with a normal body weight are not immune. Reduce your risk through lifestyle choices. 

You've Been BUSTED! No more excuses, please GET SCREENED.

Colon Cancer Awareness

As a Colon Hydrotherapist advocating colon health is a natural extension of what I love to do. I have always been exceedingly vocal and passionate when it comes to colon health and colon cancer awareness. 

Colon cancer is the second leading cancer killer in Canada. Over 23,00 Canadian men and women will be diagnosed this year alone. Colorectal cancer has a significant impact on mortality for men and women, with an estimated 9,200 deaths. 

In December 2010 I lost my wonderful Uncle after a long battle with colon cancer. My beautiful Aunt, his beloved wife also lost her battle to colon cancer in August 2006. Sadly, I know that I am not alone and my story is not unique. Cancer has touched the lives of many, some directly and others indirectly.

In spite of its high incidence, in a majority of cases colorectal cancer is preventable, treatable and beatable with early detection.

"Supporting the Fighters, Admiring the Survivors, Honoring the taken, and never ever giving up Hope."