Adventist Health is proud to support the 80% by 2018 initiative from the American Cancer Society. This program aims to prevent 203,000 deaths from colorectal cancer by 2030!
How can hundreds of thousands of lives be saved in such a short time? The answer starts with screening. We believe that if 80 percent of the adults in the U.S. over the age of 50 are screened for colorectal cancer we’ll see this drastic decline in deaths.
This is awkward, do we really have to talk about it?
Yes! It can be an awkward topic but it’s important. In fact, colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in Oregon, following lung cancer. Still not sure you’re ready to bring up the topic with your doctor? Take a look at our 7 candid questions about screening to start getting comfortable with the topic.
Still don’t want to discuss your colon with your doctor? We promise, they won’t think it’s awkward. Have you ever had dinner with a doctor? They have no concept “polite conversation.” They’ll bring up blood, puss, and colons over appetizers and while we’re still trying to regain our appetite they’ll be reaching for seconds. So yeah, don’t worry about that part.
Okay, I’ll talk about it, but getting screened is a different matter entirely
Yep, colon cancer screening typically involves a colonoscopy. And while a colonoscopy is somewhat less pleasant than sitting on a warm beach with a cool drink in your hand, it’s also not that bad. It’s a painless procedure and you’ll be relaxed enough that you probably won’t even remember it when it’s over. The great thing about a colonoscopy is that any issues can often be resolved during the procedure, meaning you won’t have to come back in to see us again right away. Read all the gritty details about a colonoscopy.
In addition to colonoscopy, there are other screening options available, including simple take-home options, so be sure to understand your Colorectal Cancer Screening Options. Screening can save lives but only if people get tested and the best test is the one that gets done.
Dr. Jaime Aranda-Michel joined us for an episode of our LivingWell Podcast to discuss colorectal cancer and why you shouldn’t sit out your colonoscopy. Hear from him and a patient whose cancer was caught early because of a colonoscopy.
How does colon cancer work?
Most colorectal cancers develop from a noncancerous growth called a polyp. As polyps grow they can start to develop cancer cells. It’s ideal to catch these growths while they are still “local” or confined to the colon (this is what we do during a colonoscopy). As this cancer develops it spreads outside of the colon and becomes much more dangerous.
Alright, I’m convinced. Who do I talk to about scheduling a colonoscopy?
Your primary care provider is always the best place to start with any medical questions. They can discuss your risk factors with you and help you figure out what screenings are appropriate. If you don’t have a primary care provider then you can reach out to the GI (gastrointestinal) team at Adventist Health by calling 503-255-3054.
Screening is a great way to fight cancer, but prevention is often the best way to stop cancer before it starts. The resources below offer some great insights into a cancer healthy diet,
- The Body Benefits of Butyrate – How fiber makes gut magic
- Awkward Conversations With Dad – Talking to your dad about health concerns as he gets older
- Colorectal Cancer: Catching It Early – See the entire infographic for more on colorectal cancer screening
- American Cancer Society
- Find a primary care provider – 503-261-6929 or request an appointment online
Author: LivingWell PDX Blog
Adventist Health is committed to creating a healthier Portland community.