People craft– taking care of ourselves

Body maintenance isn’t always fun.  We’re rather resigned to mammograms, pap smears, and dental exams, but getting a colorectal cancer screening?  Colorectal cancer, also called colon cancer or large bowel cancer, includes cancerous growths in the colon, rectum, and (believe it or not) appendix. With 655,000 deaths worldwide per year, it is the fourth most common form of cancer in the United States and the third leading cause of cancer-related death in the Western world.  I had my first screening ten years ago, and I will schedule my second soon.  If you’re 50 or older and dread the thought, you’re not alone because only half of the population does it.  My doctor pushes it because having a screening saved his life.  During a screening a doctor looks for signs of actual precancerous polyps or abnormal growths in the colon or rectum.  Screening helps locate early colorectal cancer, and catching it early means treatment will be much more successful.  Here’s a rundown:  prior to the screening, the subject drinks a liquid that flushes out the colon. This bowel cleansing solution tastes something like jello but not as good.  Actually the subject can eat jello that isn’t red or purple.   During the screening, the sedated subject doesn’t realize (thank goodness) the doctor inserts a long, thin, flexible, lighted tube through the rectum into the colon and looks for polyps, abnormal areas, or cancer.  If polyps are found, the doctor removed them right then with a tool on the colonoscope, avoiding another procedure.  With a colonoscopy the rectum and entire colon are examined.  With a sigmidoscopy, only the rectum and lower colon are examined.  A less invasive test is the fecal occlt blood test (FOBT) where at home, the person places small samples of stool on a special card and returns it to the doctor or lab for testing.  If blood is found, this is a sign of polyps or cancer, and further tests (colonoscopy) are necessary.  However, the FOBT does not detect early polyps that are not yet bleeding.


18 thoughts on “People craft– taking care of ourselves

  1. Friends, it’s not fun to think about things such as cancer, but every week at my Monday night Bible class at St John Neumann, someone says a prayer for a cancer sufferer. It can happen, and if we can prevent it, it’s good. The body is made up of different types of cells that normally divide and multiply in an orderly way. These new cells replace older cells. This process of cell birth and renewal occurs constantly in the body. Cancer or malignant growths occur when some cells in the body begin to multiply in an uncontrolled manner.

  2. That’s being good to yourself, Reba. When cancer cells start growing wild, the body’s natural defenses, such as certain parts of the immune system, cannot usually stop uncontrolled cell division. These abnormal cells become greater and greater in number. In some types of cancer, including colon cancer, the uncontrolled cell growth forms a mass or tumor. This is a later form, way past what a doctor would find in a screening. Glad you’re going for it, Reba. Merry Christmas.

  3. My sister could have benefitted, I’m absolutely positive of this. Now she is wearing an ostomy (external bag) after having a rupture due to a weak colon wall, loaded with polyps and cancer. A section was removed surgically. I think she will be able to undergo a procedure to get put back together after the existing colon heals.

  4. Ways we deal with life is kind of like thr rig disaster off the Gulf Coast. BP knew they were managing a complex well with flaws, and that led to the explosion and sinking of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig, killing 11 workers.

  5. Particularly around the holidays, we’re decorating our homes, and this can be rather impulsive and wasteful. Yesterday I ordered a wrap-around-a-tree-trunk snowman holding a battern operated lantern for $25. Where do you think that will end up in a couple of years?

  6. In the dump of course, Mary Alice, ha ha. When we cleaned out our garage a month ago, I hauled off a trunk and back seat full of ratty reindeer that used to light up and move and a delapidated igloo, plus an assortment of other holiday junk!

  7. My wife Heidi and I are going easier on the holiday decorations. We need a few lights outside around the front door, but don’t need to go crazy (like we used to). We like a few poinsettia plants in pots, a Christmas tree, and a wreath. Inside, we decorate the fireplace with stockings.

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