I have a patient who is absolutely phobic about getting a colonoscopy for colon cancer screening. She has a family history of colon cancer so the fear may be about what is "found" or it may just be the anxiety of going through the test. No amount of cajoling on my part or her husbands part has been successful for getting her tested. I've even offered valium to get her through it but she just won't take that next step!
I feel so strongly about this because colon cancer is one disease that is truly preventable if found early.
Here are some facts:
- Colon cancer is the 2nd leading cause of death from cancer
- Fewer than half of all men and women are up to date on their colon screenings
- The majority of colon cancer is diagnosed in people over 50
- Colorectal cancer often occurs with no symptoms
- Most colorectal cancer can be cured if diagnosed at an early stage
- Regular colonoscopy can prevent colorectal cancer all together
- You can reduce the risk of colon cancer by maintaining ideal body weight, eating less fatty foods and increasing dietary fiber
- Researchers are trying to find biomarkers in blood or stool samples to simplify detection