O.K., I'm doing this today. Yeah, I'm nervous about the whole thing, from the prep to the procedure. So I am using this post to remind myself and all of you why we need to get our colonoscopies.
- The older you get, the greater your chances of getting colon cancer. So once you turn 50, it's time to start screening. If you are at higher risk like me, you need to start sooner. Your doctor can advise you at what age you should begin.
- If everyone age 50 and older completed regular screenings, 60% of colon cancer deaths could be prevented. All I can say is, 'Wow!'
- If colon cancer is found at an early stage, treatment often leads to a cure. That's another 'Wow!' from me.
- Men, women and persons from all racial and ethnic groups are at risk for developing colon cancer. Sorry, but no one is getting a pass on this one.
- Colon cancer is the 3rd most common cancer in men and women and is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths.
- People with colon cancer don't always have symptoms. In my mother's case, she didn't develop symptoms until after the cancer spread to her liver, making it very difficult to treat.
- Colon cancer screening save lives. Period.
For more information, visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) colorectal (colon) cancer website for prevention, screening and fact sheets. This is where I learned the facts that I shared with you in this post.
Knowing that I can prevent colon cancer through screening gives me peace of mind. In fact, I am more worried about the actual procedure than whether or not I have colon cancer. That's because I feel confident that my doctor and I are doing all we can do to prevent me from getting colon cancer in the first place. And since I am going for early screening based on my risk factors, I feel confident that if there are problems, we will be catching them at an early, treatable stage.
Thanks to everyone who has left messages of support here, as well as on Facebook and Twitter. You all are helping me get over my anxieties about doing this for the first time. I really appreciate your support! Let me know when I can return the favor...