Castleview Hospital played host to a colon cancer awareness event on Tuesday evening. Those in attendance enjoyed a free presentation by the hospital’s two general surgeons as well as dinner.
General surgeons Kyle Jeffery and Jon Pressett led the event as part of Colon Cancer Awareness Month, which takes place annually in March. As the third most common cancer in men and the second most common in women, the surgeons see various cases of colon cancer in Castle Country patients each year, prompting them to urge the community to receive regular screenings and treatment when needed.
The most common and accurate way to screen for colonic diseases is through a colonoscopy. It is recommended that everyone have their first colonoscopy at least by age 50, although some cases may require earlier screening. If colon cancer is a familial trait, it is recommended that patients receive a colonoscopy 10 years before the age immediate family members were when they were diagnosed. Taking a proactive approach on screenings allows for early detection, which can make treatment much simpler.
“A colonoscopy is by the best way to diagnose,” Dr. Jeffery said.
While colonoscopies are a popular method, colonic disease can also sometimes be found through x-rays, cat scans, stool samples and enemas.
While only 5% of colon cancer cases are hereditary, it is important for people to evaluate risk factors that can be modified as a way to lower their chance of cancer. These risk factors include obesity, diabetes, eating red/processed meats and the use of tobacco as well as moderate to heavy alcohol abuse.
Before or in between colon screening, there are signs and symptoms to be aware of that are related to colonic diseases. These include, but are not limited to, rectal bleeding, anemia, abdominal pain, changes in bowel habits, weakness and fatigue. While many colon cancers develop without obvious symptoms, it is important to follow current colon cancer screening guidelines to lower your risk.
Another educational presentation will be hosted in Orangeville on March 23. The event will take place at the old Orangeville fire station and will similarly feature dinner, a presentation and giveaways. To RSVP for this event, contact Jenn Colosimo at (435) 637-4800 extension 4022.