|March is time to get screened
Audrey Hepburn, Ronald Reagan, Ruth Bader-Ginsberg, and Darryl
Strawberry all have something in common most people don’t realize.
They were all diagnosed with colorectal cancer. March, designated
as colon cancer awareness month, is the perfect time to see how much
you know about what is the second leading cause of cancer death in the
nation, second only to lung cancer.
Other facts about colon cancer
This year 145,000 more Americans will develop colorectal cancer and
more than 49,000 will die of the disease. A simple test can spot the
disease early enough to save lives. It is estimated that less than 45
percent of eligible individuals in the U. S. have been screened.
Most early cancers produce no symptoms, which is why screening for
colorectal cancer before symptoms appear is recommended. The American
College of Gastroenterology offers these possible symptoms for
colorectal cancer: new onset abdominal pain; pain in passing the stool;
a change in typical bowel habits, diarrhea, constipation; and a change
in the stool caliber or shape.
Risk factors can be lowered through healthy lifestyle habits. A diet is
recommended that is high in yellow, red and orange fruits and
vegetables, low in meats and saturated fats and high in fiber.
For information, check with your family physician or visit the American College of Gastroenterology’s Web site at http://www.acg.gi.org.
For a colorectal cancer screening fact sheet from the National Cancer Institute, go to http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Detection/colorectal-screening.
Check with your health insurance plan to see your coverage for
colorectal screening and talk with your doctor. Subscribers to the
state health insurance plan should go to http://www.eip.sc.gov/prevention/index.aspx?p=1&t=458 for a description of preventive coverage.
The insurance benefits guide for any of the state health insurance plans is available at http://tinyurl.com/ycow9dw.
Friday, March 26, 2010