Its estimated more than 1,200 Nevadans will be diagnosed with
colon cancer this year. Its is the second leading cancer killer both here and the rest of the country.
Tonight and for the next three nights, I have special coverage concerning colon cancer.
We hope to take the mystery out of this disease in the next couple of
nights. Tomorrow we'll take you to a live colonoscopy. This cancer screening test, unlike others can actually prevent the disease.
That's why we call our report, 'Screening is Believeing.":
You may or may not recognize Susie Robinson. She's often at our "Ounce of Prevention." Shower kit giveaways talking to women about proper self breast exam and breast cancer.
"Because cancers can be intsy weensy . . . do you have a history of it in your family?" she asks.
But once she gets the message out about breast cancer - depending upon the woman's age - she'll follow it up with a discussion about colon
cancer. "Can I ask you another question, How old are you, have
you had a colonoscopy?"
There's a good reason for Susie to bring awareness to colon cancer.
Its the second leading cancer killer among Americans right after lung
cancer. Both men and women can get colon cancer and is most often found in people over 50.
"Some people think if they just don't think about it, if they put their they won't get it. But unfortunatley, lifetime risk of getting colon cancer is about five-to six percent, I mean you know everyone is at risk." says Dr. Craig Sande.
Symptoms of colorectal cancer include:
* Blood in the stool,
* Unexplainable and frequent pains, aches or cramps in your stomach.
* A change in stool formation
* Weight loss.
Inflammatory bowel disease puts you at risk for colorectal cancer. So
does a family history of the disease.
That's the case with Susie, both her father and sister have a history of polyps - which can develop into cancer.
"I do need it done, secondly, I want to help, hopefully relive some people's anxiety about having it done take the mystery or the squeamishness that people have about it," Robinson says, speaking of the colonoscopy.
Screening for colorectal cancer can be done in several ways. But one of those screening - called colonoscopy - not only finds colon cancer, but can actually prevent the disease from happening.
Here's why . . .
A colonscopy allows the doctor to inspect the entire length of the
colon. The flexible tube has a fiber optic video camera and a light,
and instruments to grab cell samples. It can also remove polyps that
may be growing in the colon wall thereby eliminating their chance of
developing into cancer.
But because of where this cancer develops and the method of going
after polyps, many people are too embarrassed to talk about colon cancer . . . much less get screened for it.
That is why Susie has volunteered to be our patient in Tuesday's evenings live colonoscopy. "In watching me have it done it takes away some of the fear and they go and have it done it would be definately worth if for me, she says.
We'll go to that colonoscopy live during the 5 o'clock news Tuesday - until then if you have any questions or concerns about colonscopy or colon cancer, call 329-0609.
And if you are using the excuse of "insurance won't cover the
screening," we'll have information about a new law in Nevada which may require your insurance carrier to pay for colonoscopy.