Get Screened During March, National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

couple gardening

Did you know that colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States? Early diagnosis is key to a beneficial outcome—so be proactive and begin regular screening from age 50 through age 75. The best test is the one that gets done. So, if you’re turning 50, happy 50th birthday to you and the other 12,500 Americans who turn 50 every day. Gift yourself a visit to your gastroenterologist to discuss your colonoscopy.

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends the following testing options: a simple take home test (fecal occult blood test) every year, a sigmoidoscopy every five years, or a colonoscopy every 10 years. Talk to your doctor about which option is best for you.

During a colonoscopy, precancerous growths can be removed, and, according to the New England Journal of Medicine, cutting the risk of dying from colon cancer by 50 percent. Screening recommendations may vary based on family history and other conditions.

A colonoscopy can be associated with anxiety for many people. But once you familiarize yourself with the procedure, you may feel relieved to discover the process is quick and efficient. You can search WebMD for great video footage of an actual colonoscopy. For most people, the fear of preparing for the colonoscopy is worse than the fear of the procedure itself. The prep day consists of one full day of clear liquids, no solid food, and a strong laxative that keeps you close to home.

With planning, though, you can get enough calories and protein to enjoy a high-functioning day. Your brain will be alert and you will even have enough energy for a moderate workout. Support your blood sugar levels by drinking enough calories, with a bit of protein, every two hours. Choose clear liquids without any red or purple dyes. You can increase the amount you drink based on what you need for brain function and exercise.

Consume two to four of these “meals”

  • 1 cup prepared lime, lemon, or orange Jell-O
  • 8 oz. Gatorade Recovery Beverage Post Game Drink (kiwi strawberry), or similar protein water drink
  • 2 cups chicken, beef, or vegetable broth
  • Every two hours, sip on 8-16 ounces of regular or Recovery Gatorade, apple juice or white grape juice.
  • Drink water, tea, black coffee, clear carbonated beverages, and have popsicles (no red or purple) as desired.

If you eat a total of one box of prepared Jell-O, 32 oz. broth, 32 oz. Gatorade, 2 -16.9 oz. bottles of Gatorade Recovery and 16 oz. apple juice, you will have consumed 1,540 calories plus 52 grams of protein. That’s enough to keep you fueled and feeling good.

Take action! Get screened for colorectal cancer. Call your doctor today!