If you're 50 (or nearing it), you should be thinking about getting your colonoscopy. Not a pleasant thought, but it's important for everyone to get screened. If you don't know much about colonoscopies, why they are important, or have questions that you're too embarassed to ask, tune in to the livestream next Wednesday between 9 a.m. and noon (Pacific Time) at www.swedish.org/colonlive.
Drs. Raman Menon and Nicholas Procaccini are hosting a livestream to discuss the benefits of colonoscopy, and why it is important that everyone at age 50 get screened. Patients at risk and those with family members who have had colon cancer may need earlier screening. March is colon cancer awareness month – and Swedish is committed to identifying new ways of communicating to better inform and to provide a new level of education to the community.
You'll be able to watch them chat live, narrate recorded colonoscopy procedures, and answer your questions live (and you can submit them anonymously - so no need to feel embarassed).
What is colon cancer?
Colon, or colorectal, cancer is cancer that starts in the large intestine (colon) or the rectum (end of the colon). Other types of cancer that can affect the colon include lymphoma, carcinoid tumors, melanoma, and sarcomas. These are often rare but can often be detected by a colonoscopy.
What is a colonoscopy?
A colonoscopy is the endoscopic examination of the large bowel and the distal part of the small bowel with a CCD camera or a fiber optic camera on a flexible tube passed through the anus. By having a colonoscopy, doctors are able to see potential ulcerations or polyps within the colon. During the procedure, if these are found, doctors have the opportunity to biopsy or remove suspected lesions.
Why a livestream of a colonoscopy?
The American Cancer Society says that colorectal cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer-related deaths in the U.S. However, if caught early it often leads to a complete cure. Education and awareness is our goal. Because of awareness, the death rate for colon cancer has dropped in the last 15 years.
If colon cancer is detected early and treated during the earliest possible stage, many patients survive at least 5 years after their diagnosis. If the cancer does not recur within five years, the patient is considered cured. Swedish is committed to sharing medical information through social media to help build broad awareness on various topics like colon cancer and educate about screening colonoscopies.
Most people say the prep for the colonoscopy is the worst part - here's Dr. Kratz's experience when preparing for his first colonoscopy:
(If you're not able to tune into the livestream, we'll post the archive later so you can watch any time at a later date - just check out www.swedish.org/colonlive.)