« Electoral College Redux | Main | Goofus and Gallant »

November 06, 2000

Medical History Surprise

New developments on the medical history front. While having my physical
today, Dr. Selby gave me the rundown on my various risk factors, given my age.
It seems that folks in their forties who are otherwise healthy have a risk
for colon cancer (low but measurable). Tests include:

I had to have the second, since I had had periodic blood in my stool. It turned
out that I had an 'internal hemmorhoid'. Since flex-sphyg is indicated for
anybody over fifty (if I recall correctly), I just jumped the gun a little.

Dr. Selby emphasized that the idea was to find polyps (finger-like growths in
the intestines) early, at which point they could be nipped off. "A polyp
found is a cancer prevented", says Dr. Selby. So family history is an
additional helpful indicator. If anyone in your family has had colon cancer,
or had a polyp found, that puts you into the genetic predisposition category.
If two family members have had polyps or colon cancer, you get to go
to the head of the class and receive colonoscopies every five years.

So guess what my sister informed me of in my latest email from her? Two relatives,
specifically my mother and grandmother (we're not really sure about Mom), may
have had colon cancer. I will inform Dr. Selby by phone tomorrow, but my guess
is that he'll say it is okay to wait until 2004 when my next flex-sphyg will
be scheduled.

The good news is that colon cancer is 100% preventable, by just such
screening as I've mentioned above. The bad news is that I now get the
joy of colonoscopies every five years. Not a big deal, but really annoying.
Thanks Brenda. "qbullet.smiley"

Posted by dpwakefield at November 6, 2000 08:43 PM