Dr Robert C Moesinger is a Gastrointestinal Surgeon, Northern Utah Surgeons with Intermountain Healthcare at McKay-Dee Hospital and has lifesaving tips.
In 2008, the American Cancer Society estimates that 750 Utahns will be diagnosed with colon cancer (148,810 nationwide). In 2008, the American Cancer Society estimates that 240 Utahns will die from colon cancer (49,960 nationwide)
A regular screening is key to prevention of the disease. Those who fit into the risk factors should consider regular screenings.
1. Aged 50 or older
2. Family or personal history of colon or rectal cancers
3. Personal history of inflammatory bowel disease
6. Sedentary lifestyle
Risk Factors aren’t all that people should be concerned about. Symptoms can also be a telltale sign.
1. Colorectal cancer does not usually show symptoms until late in the disease.
2. Once colon cancer shows symptoms the chance for cure is significantly reduced.
3. Symptoms can include:
• Blood in or on your stool (bowel movement).
• Pain, aches, or cramps in your stomach that happen a lot and you don’t know why.
• A change in bowel habits, such as having stools that are narrower than usual.
• Losing weight and you don’t know why.
Screening is the best way to determine if you should be concerned. There are multiple options for screenings.
1) Colonoscopy—Most effective and preferred, every 10 years when the last test was normal.
2) Fecal Occult Blood Test (FOBT) annually
3) Flexible Sigmoidoscopy, every 5 years alone or in combination with FOBT
4) Barium Enema, every 5 years when the last test was normal.
If you are 50 and older, don’t make excuses get screened regularly for colorectal cancer. Contact your Physician or call the Utah Cancer Action Network (UCAN) at 1-888-222-2542 for more information.
For a free FOBT kit call UCAN’s Health Resource Line at 1-888-222-2542 or visiting www.ucan.cc.