You Need A Light At The End Of Your Tunnel

By: Red Hot Mamas

Published: March 9, 2017

Contributed by Dr. Mache Seibel- Red Hot Mamas Medical Expert

When it comes to words in the English language that are just plain scary, there is no word that compares with cancer. For women, breast cancer is perhaps the most feared cancer. But colon cancer is the third most common cause of death in women and a cancer that is often not thought about because it is silent and starts “out of sight.”

When you compare colon cancer to breast cancer, there are some real differences. For instance, with breast cancer, it is almost always already cancer when it is found. In other words, the goal is to “catch it early.”

That is very different from colon cancer, which typically starts as a precancerous polyp. If the precancerous polyp is found and removed, so is your risk of cancer. In other words, if everyone got screened and all their potential polyps were removed before they can turn into cancer, most people would be cancer-free and there would be very few cases of colon cancer.

Unfortunately, most people delay getting a diagnosis for one of two reasons – 1. They’re afraid to find out or 2. They’re embarrassed by having to have something placed up their bottom side to make the diagnosis.

I remember when my doctor told me I needed a colonoscopy. I’m a doctor, so I know better, but I tried to get out of it by saying I would get the test, “When the Red Sox won the World Series.” At the time, they hadn’t won in 73 years so I thought I was safe. But they won that very year. I had my colonoscopy – and it wasn’t bad at all. I kind of slept through the entire thing.

My point is this. Each year have your doctor check for occult blood (small amounts you can’t see with your naked eye) by testing your stool with one of several tests. When you’re 50 or over, get a colonoscopy. If you have a strong family history of colon cancer or polyps that run in your family, get a colonoscopy at age 40. In other words, you need a light at the end of your tunnel.

Have you got questions about menopause and want an easy way to get answers? Join me and women from around the world each month at my monthly AskDrMache.com call in show. Just go to AskDrMache.com and enter your question. Then, the third Thursday of each month at 9:00 pm eastern, I’ll answer your question live. The AskDrMache.com website will tell you how to log in for the call, or give you call in information so you can ask your question live.

Can’t make it – no worries. We record the question and you can come back and listen to the answer at your convenience. I look forward to seeing you there and answering your most pressing question.  In the meantime, don’t be afraid or embarrassed by a colonoscopy – it could save your life.

Dr. Mache Seibel is the leading authority on women’s wellness and menopause and Author of The Estrogen Window 

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