BGH: Have You Been Screened for Colorectal Cancer? – HomeTown TV12
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BGH: Have You Been Screened for Colorectal Cancer?

BGH: Have You Been Screened for Colorectal Cancer?

In Canada, colorectal cancer (aside from non-melanoma skin cancer), is the second leading cause of Cancer-related death in men, and the third leading cause in women. It is preventable and treatable!

During 2003, health advocate, Jack Butt sought medical advice for a constant pain in his back, abdominal gas and stomach indigestion.

He didn’t have the usual symptoms associated with colorectal cancer; bloody stool, a change in bowel habits, abdominal discomfort, fatigue or weakness, unexplained weight loss or a feeling that the bowel didn’t completely empty.

After ruling out specifics, his physician suggested a colonoscopy which confirmed the suspicion of colon cancer.

Jack was fortunate, he persisted in finding out the cause of his discomfort and with a positive support system of family and friends he survived, because his colorectal cancer was caught early, with a colonoscopy.

A colonoscopy is a procedure using a colonoscope (four foot long flexible tube, about the size of a finger, with a camera and light at the tip). This instrument is inserted into the anus making its way to the large intestine, the colon. If polyps are detected, a pathologist will determine if these are benign or cancerous.

“We need to get over that embarrassment (talking about the colon),” said Jack. “Get checked, get screened. Since there has been a national screening program, the rate of deaths (due to colorectal cancer) has gone down, but they could be lower. If I had not had the colonoscopy, I’d be dead!”

Currently the guidelines for screening begin at around age 50, but if there’s a family history of cancer, the doctor may recommend earlier or more frequently.

For the 2017 Brockville and District Hospital Foundation’s Annual Appeal, the focus is on an alternative use to a colonoscope with new technology, a CT Colonography and associated Diagnostic Imaging support system that will assist in early detection of colorectal cancer.

What does this mean? Screening for colon cancer without using a camera and light, thereby reducing the risks to patients. Plus using an electronic worklist to improve communication and the work flow.

As Jack noted, the benefits are many – less wait times, no travel to a regional cancer centre, no travel cost and faster results.

“I think it’s important that we support this purchase,” expressed Jack.

The price of this new equipment is about $125,000; unparalleled to the price of saving a life!

Please contact the Brockville and District Hospital Foundation at foundation@bgh-on.ca, or call 613-345-4478 to donate.

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