Rectal cancer cases are on the rise, can colonoscopy be effective in preventing?

Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer in the United States, according to the Colorectal Cancer Alliance. Recently, the American Cancer Society lowered the recommended age for colonoscopy from 50 to 45 because of the rising trend of colorectal cancer cases in young and middle-aged patients.

Even though I had no family history of colon cancer, I decided to contact my primary care physician for an appointment.

I've heard of alternatives to colonoscopies, like mailing your stool sample, but this is the last package I want to send to anyone, let alone a healthcare hero. Additionally, a physical exam allows doctors to remove any polyps they find in the colon or rectum, benign or otherwise.

Eight-year-old Nancy Carlin is hitting her stride. She recently retired from teaching high school Earth Science for 25 years, a job she wanted to do since her 10th grade science class. She has a wonderful grown son, a 100-year-old mother, and a loving husband who has been with her for nearly 50 years. The couple moved from Western New York to Florida to make the most of their retirement, and Nancy was excited to hone her glass jewelry making skills, float in the pool, and catch up with her favorite author, David Barda Some of the books by David Baldacci.

During a routine checkup, Culling's doctor asked her if she would have a colonoscopy. Culling, who has worked diligently to monitor her health, has never been screened for colon cancer, although adults at average risk are recommended to start at age 45. Although colonoscopy techniques have evolved considerably over the years, and the experience is fairly manageable, Culling is reluctant for most people. "Every time I'm asked for a colonoscopy," Culling explained, "I say, 'Absolutely not. You're not putting anything in that area of ​​my body. It sounds aggressive, and I'm a very private person. people. So I always say no."

It was during this appointment that when Culling started refusing colonoscopies again, her doctor told her Cologuard was a non-invasive colorectal screening test that she could take in her own home. "When she made that request," Culling said, "I finally said okay, okay, that sounds easy."

But when the Cologuard kit arrived in the mail, Culling was still hesitant. After ignoring the package for a few days, she received a reminder email: It was time to send her samples. Culling relented: "I think I just need a little push," she said.

Culling fully expected her Cologuard results to be negative. "My mother had a colonoscopy before, and she knew it, and so did my sister," she recalls. "So I never thought it mattered. That is, until I got my results."

Culling's doctor called shortly after she returned her kit to inform her that she had tested positive and that she needed a colonoscopy. "I couldn't believe it," she said. "I don't have any symptoms. I think the test must have been wrong.

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