Who doesn’t appreciate a nice rear view? It’s nice that there is a month dedicated to the butt. However, I am not talking about what’s on the outside here. It’s all about your inner booty beauty. While Colon Cancer Awareness Month, www.colorectal-cancer.ca) comes to an end, I couldn’t let the month pass without flagging it.
Now, this stuff isn’t glamorous. Fair enough. But think about this. Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in Canada. Thankfully, there is a lot you can do to stack the odds in your favour. Sure, there is the usual advice (eat right, get enough fibre, watch the belly fat, cut back on the red meat and processed foods and of course, exercise). But there is also an important part of bottom health: screening, aka, colonoscopies.
Have you experienced any of the following? A change in your pooping habits? Blood in your stool? Persistent abdominal discomfort, such as cramps, gas or pain or a feeling that your bowel doesn’t empty completely when you are, you know going? If so, consider calling your doctor. And of course, if your family has a history of colorectal issues, ask to get screened. You’ll be glad you did. In fact, you will just be joining the trendy set. Colonoscopies are becoming the in thing. Oprah had one and dedicated part of a show talking about it. Need I say more?
The trend is a good one. Imagine you had something there, some little nugget or two (known as polyps), didn’t know about it and it eventually turned into cancer. Imagine what a chump you would feel like for not taking a tour of your bum years earlier. Generally speaking, it takes a few years for a growth to turn into cancer so it is even more crazy not to get checked out, if not for peace of mind. In fact, caught early enough, colon cancer is 90% treatable.
If the screening results are clear, you’re good to go for years to come. And if the doctors do find something then all the better for early detection. It can be dealt with and might just save your life. You’ll have to go every 5 years after that for a follow-up colonoscopy. But it’s really not that bad. Why people live in fear of the procedure is beyond me. Some people complain that the two days before are extremely unpleasant as you discover reserves of number two you probably never thought possible in the human body. But it’s a great way to cleanse yourself and it’s a great excuse to take it easy, sit around, watch too much tv or read eating vats of jello.
Then there is the procedure. Nobody tells you, but the drugs are fabulous and if you have a great doctor like I did (Dr. Arni Sekar 613-729-3179) or a great anaesthicist, they are your new best friends. The experience isn’t bad and sure beats the alternative. Fear is just not worth risking your health. Period.
Last but not least, remember that fibre is your friend. I have a great cookie recipe if you’re interested. Email me at Jennifer@ottawalife.com. I have nicknamed it Jen’s Colonoscopy Cookies. These suckers will kick your ass into gear if you need a little help. And they even taste good.
Learn more about your bum at the Colorectal Cancer Association of Canada web site www.colorectal-cancer.ca. The organization also has a great PR campaign www.getyourbuttseen.ca to boot (no pun intended).