Tuesday, September 11, 2007

What do you know about colon cancer?

A different approach to today’s blog. First, a quiz about a topic that we all just love to talk about: colon cancer. What? It’s not a top 10 topic? You’re right. It’s not. The problem is, it’s likely not in the top 100. We don’t talk about it.

Let’s see how much you know about colon cancer and the answers are at the end of the blog entry.

Ok, here we go:

1- The colon is:
a) The small intestine
b) The large intestine
c) The entire intestinal tract
d) A punctuation mark

2- The role of the colon is to: ___________

3- Name some of the risk factors for colon cancer:

4- Screening for colon cancer does not include:
a) Digital rectal exam
b) Blood test
c) Colonoscopy
d) Barium enema
e) Fecal blood test

5- Screening should begin at 65

6- Which of the following is not a symptom of colon cancer:
a) Diarrhea
b) Constipation
c) Nausea and/or vomiting
d) Feeling of needing to empty bowels constantly
e) Bright red blood in your stool
f) Dark blood in your stool
g) Oddly shaped, narrow stools
h) Cramping, gas pain
i) Bloating
j) Weight loss
k) Fatigue
l) They’re all symptoms

How do you think you did?

Colon cancer affects both men and women, most often after the age of 50 and is the third most common cancer in both. Prostate and lung cancers come before for men and breast and lung cancers for women. Even scarier: it is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States.

Patient education published by the Centers of Disease Control states that up to 60% of colon cancer-related deaths could be avoided by proper colorectal cancer screening.

Now the answers:

1- The colon is the large intestine. The small intestine empties into the large intestine (or large bowel), which runs for about 4 or 5 feet.

2- The role of the colon is to pull out the nutrients and water from the food as it passes through. What remains is the waste that is eliminated as stool.

3- Name some of the risk factors for colon cancer:
Being over 50 years old
Having a history of colorectal polyps, Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis
Having a family history of colorectal cancer
Diet – high fat, low fiber diets

4- Screening for colon cancer doesn't include a blood test. A digital rectal exam can detect suspicious masses near the rectum, a colonoscopy looks into the colon and can remove polyps. A barium enema gives your doctor a view of the colon, but cannot remove any polyps. A fecal blood test is a simple test that checks for blood in your stool that might not be visible by the naked eye.

5- Screening should begin at 65
False – screening should begin at 50 for people who are not in a high-risk category. Earlier screening is recommended for those at high risk of developing colorectal cancer.

6- Which of the following is not a symptom of colon cancer:

They’re all symptoms.

So – how did you do?

News for Today:
The fight against colorectal cancer
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Deaths, adverse side-effects linked to drugs rise: study
Colloidal silver supplement poses health risks: Health Canada
Nutrients lutein and zeaxanthin associated with reduced risk for age-related eye disease
Decline in blood platelet count associated with increased risk of HIV-related dementia
Medication appears helpful for treatment of erectile dysfunction in men with spinal cord injuries
New lung cancer guidelines oppose general CT screening

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I learned something new today! Thank you.