There are certain phrases that strike a chord for many of us. One of these being the squeaky wheel gets the grease. A quick rewind of the last 24-hours can produce many squeaky-wheel examples such as the screaming child needing attention or a task getting priority because of an immediate need.

On the flip side, another things may deserve attention but fail to garner more than a passing thought. Consider the example of personal health. What’s more likely to earn attention? An illness accompanied by a fever or a nagging cough? The warning sign of a fever may prompt a day of rest in bed while a cough left unattended could easily turn into walking pneumonia.

Scheduled Awareness

The transition from nagging to serious often isn’t noticed until we look back in hindsight. In the moment it’s easy to ignore our health in ways that might cause bigger issues down the road. To be fair, most of us don’t have the time or energy to analyze every twinge or sniff, but there are times when our health shouldn’t need a nagging cough or raging fever to get our attention.

This is why it’s important to make time for scheduled screenings such a colonoscopy for colon cancer. A screening looks for cancer in an individual who is currently experiencing no symptoms. Having regular screenings improves the possibility of detecting precancerous polyps so they can be removed at an earlier stage. While it might feel somewhat crazy to go looking for cancer, consider it a life-saving tool for yourself or someone you love.

Colon Cancer Facts, via the Colon Cancer Alliance

  • 90% of new cases occur in people age 50 or older
  • People with a first-degree relative (sibling, parent or offspring) who have colon cancer have 2-3 times the risk of developing the disease.
  • There are currently more than one million colon cancer survivors in the U.S.
  • Colon cancer is the second-most-common cancer.
  • Colon cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer-related death in the United States.
  • Colon cancer is one of the most preventable cancers.

False Evidence Appearing Real (F.E.A.R.)

Unfortunately, many people find the idea of a colonoscopy scarier than the actual procedure. By misunderstanding what really happens in a colonoscopy, individuals avoid something with the potential to truly save a life. Rather than having the facts, individuals base a life-and-death decision on overblown scenarios portraying this important screening as something painful or scary, when it is not. This is one place where the facts could literally save your life or the life of someone you love.

In addition to getting a colonoscopy, there are other ways to reduce your colon cancer risk.

  • Stay at a healthy weight
  • Avoid sugary and processed foods
  • Get regular exercise
  • Include a variety of colorful fruit and vegetables
  • Learn your family history
  • Take all symptoms seriously

To learn more about scheduling a potentially life-saving screening, contact the Gastroenterologists at Summit Medical Center by visiting our physician directory or calling us at 307-232-6600.

Remember, you always have a choice in your healthcare. Summit Medical Center offers orthopedics; ear, nose and throat; pediatrics, gastrointestinal; primary care; oral surgery; general surgery, pulmonary; and plastic surgery to the Casper, Wyoming, area. With cost-competitive, high-quality medical care and superior patient service, Summit Medical Center is changing the delivery of healthcare in Casper and beyond.

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