Colon Cancer - Silent Killer

Can You Change the Future? In a Word, Yes.

Would you want to know your future? It’s a big question. And upon consideration, a lot of people would rather not know.

But let’s take that one step further. What if you could see just one part of your future — and if it looks bad, do something today that could change the outcome? That’s a different question entirely, isn’t it?

It turns out, you can. And the technology has been around for years, although it’s better today than it’s ever been.

Are you ready? It’s a colonoscopy. Now wait…before you stop reading, consider these three facts.

  1. Colorectal cancer or colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths among men and women in the U.S.

  2. This same cancer is among the most preventable. If caught early, it’s also among the most treatable.

  3. In both cases — prevention and treatment — the key is a colonoscopy, a simple, in-office procedure.

So if it’s the most preventable and the most treatable when identified early, and if all it takes is a colonoscopy, why doesn’t everybody get one?

We think there are two reasons. First — and we completely understand this — most people get very squeamish thinking about the ins and outs of this procedure (no pun intended). But the truth is, you’re sedated during the process, and are unlikely to feel any discomfort at all.

The second reason is similar: you may have heard horror stories about the preparation in the day or so leading up to the procedure. And while it’s certainly no one’s idea of a day at the beach, it’s also much, much easier than it used to be, and nowhere near as bad as some people may have experienced once upon a time.

Now, here’s what a colonoscopy accomplishes, especially when you have one at age 50 or as close to it as possible.

First, it allows the gastroenterologist (a specially-trained physician) to spot any growths or “polyps” in your colon that have the potential to one day become cancerous.

Second, it lets that specialist remove the polyps right then, before they have a chance to cause trouble. And third, if there is cancer, it lets your doctor know so you can treat it quickly. Again, colon cancer treated early has a very high survival rate.

How do you know where to go for your colonoscopy? Look for a practice with a high “adenoma detection rate.” That means it’s a practice that’s very good at finding and removing problem polyps.

If you’re age 50 or older – or if you care about someone who is – the best thing you can do to protect your future is to schedule a colonoscopy right away. It’s the key to changing your future for the better.

Dr. Stuart H. Coleman, MD
Gastroenterology of Southern Indiana

Dr. Coleman began his medical practice in New Albany in 1984 after many years of training. He attended the University of Kentucky for his pre-medical studies and the University of Louisville Medical School. This education was followed by a year of internship and an additional two years of specialty training in Internal Medicine, all in Portsmouth, Virginia with the U.S. Navy. He then received two additional years of training in Gastroenterology at the University of Alabama in Birmingham. Dr. Coleman is board certified in both Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology.

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