I want to support Colon Cancer Awareness Month this year by dispelling a few myths and hopefully getting everyone a little more comfortable with the colonoscopy prep process. Colorectal cancer isn’t just a disease of those 50 and older! Through awareness we can collectively beat this cancer!

You can learn more about tests, symptoms, causes and screening guidelines on our colon cancer web page.

Colonoscopy Prep Tips

One of the reasons that many are leery of getting a colonoscopy is the prep. While it can be unpleasant for some, with a little planning the prep process does not need to be difficult or overwhelming.

To help patients, I’ve created a video that explains the importance of the prep, what to avoid prior to your colonoscopy and how to make the process a little easier.

TIP: Doing a good job with the colonoscopy prep gives your doctor the best chance to find and remove polyps.

“Dr.

5 Colon Cancer Myths

Cancer is a word that gets everyone’s attention! However, it’s important to keep in mind that colorectal cancer is treatable. Since there are several myths and misconceptions about colon cancer, I want to discuss 5 of the more common myths to better educate those in the Fort Worth, TX area.

Myth #1 – Colon cancer is fatal.
Reality – When detected at an early stage, colon cancer is very treatable with a 90% success rate.

Myth #2 – Colon cancer only affects older adults.
Reality – While it is true that your risk of colon cancer increases with age, it can occur in younger adults & teenagers. In 2018, the American Cancer Society recommended that colon cancer screening start at age 45, rather than 50, for average risk individuals. This change was made due to a higher incidence of colon cancer in younger adults.

TIP: Discuss your digestive symptoms and when you should be screened for colorectal cancer with your doctor. Doing so will significantly reduce your risk!

Myth #3 – Colorectal cancer screening is not covered under most health plans.
Reality – Most commercial health plans cover the cost of a screening colonoscopy. However, if you are getting a colonoscopy for evaluation of symptoms or a history of colon polyps, your exam will be classified as diagnostic. Therefore, copays and deductibles will likely apply.

TIP: Clarify how your colonoscopy will be classified (screening or diagnostic) prior to your procedure. Doing so will minimize any billing surprises.

Myth #4 – A colon polyp means that I have cancer.
Reality – It is true that a polyp can progress to colon cancer. However, if a polyp is detected and removed prior to this progression, you can avoid colon cancer.

TIP: This reality is the underlying reason for promoting awareness every March and throughout the year to friends & family. Colon cancer screening can be a life-saving preventative health exam!

Myth #5 –If I don’t have symptoms, I don’t need a colonoscopy.
Reality – Colon cancer is often a “silent” disease. It takes years to grow and by the time symptoms develop it is generally quite advanced and more difficult to treat. This reality is why it is so important to follow colon cancer screening guidelines and your gastroenterologist or primary doctor’s recommendations.

TIP: Factors such as age, medical history, family history and ethnicity may play a role in the age your doctor recommends getting your 1st colonoscopy. Please have that conversation regardless of whether or not you are experiencing symptoms.

Colon Cancer Awareness Events – DFW 2019

Whether you have a personal connection to colon cancer or want to help raise awareness, the DFW area has some great events in which you can participate. I’ve provided basic information for each event below along with links to their respective websites.

Get Your Rear in Gear
• Date: Saturday, March 2, 2019
• Location: Trinity Park – 2201 W 7th St., Fort Worth, TX
• Event Info: click here

Colorectal Cancer 5k Walk-A-Thon
• Date: Saturday, March 9, 2019
• Location: 1675 Republic Pkwy, Mesquite, TX
• Event Info: click here

Colorectal Cancer Alliance Undy Run/Walk
• Date: TBD*
• Location: TBD
• Event Info: click here
*The 2018 event was in November, so we would expect late Fall for 2019 as well.

National Dress Blue Day
• Date: Friday, March 1, 2019
• Event Info: click here
• My team and I will be participating and posting photos on my practice Facebook page. I encourage you to join us and help spread the awareness message!