Going for a check up can be quite a daunting task, few people enjoy the experience. Some actually experience a crippling fear of discovering what they don’t want to know but must know. We walk around, talking, laughing, hustling, shouting, but deep down the question keeps creeping into the back of our minds…”am I ok?”. In this part of the world, we need to eradicate self-medication. Not everything is malaria. “I reject it in Jesus’ name” is third only to “please” and “thank you”. You know we all do it. We are a spiritual nation, but technology has moved forward.
Its no mystery that people around us are dying, and all we can do is watch it happen. People are leaving us ever more frequently and it’s happening at an increasingly younger age. What can we do? Are we doing all we can? Wouldn’t you rather know what’s going on inside your body and be able to do something about it, rather than be one of the unexplained and sudden deaths?
Eden Lifestyle tasked our contributors to make our readers aware of what they could do to help themselves …please read on. – Eden Lifestyle
“Cancer” is often referred to as the “C-word”. Why, you ask? Because no one wants to talk about it by name for fear that mentioning it could bring it on. Of course, that doesn’t happen but it doesn’t keep most of us from trying to ignore it. However ignoring the risks of cancer can negatively impact your health.
Colon cancer has two strikes against it: first, there is that “C-word” and then there is another term most of us don’t feel comfortable with “colon”. It is a part of our bowel, something that does not come up to easily in everyday conversation. Those two words however need to be demystified so that lives can be saved.
Colon cancer has been recognized for years in the western world as one of the most common forms of cancer. There are two facts about colon cancer that will surely surprise you: it is much more common in Nigeria then once believed and it is an entirely preventable disease.
Colon cancer can happen to anyone. Men and women are at equal risk. In Nigeria, the average age at diagnosis is 44, even younger than in the western world. Studies have not pointed to reasons why that is, but they have shown that there are people with colon cancer in Nigeria at present and they are diagnosed at a younger age and with a more aggressive variant of the disease.
Can cancer really be prevented? In the case of colon cancer, the answer is yes! Prior to becoming a full blown cancer, a small growth called a polyp arises in the colon. Polyps don’t hurt, don’t bleed, don’t cause any symptoms until they become large and cancerous. That is why it is important to screen healthy individuals to see if they have polyps. The preferred method of screening is a colonoscopy during which polyps can be removed.
A colonoscopy allows your physician (gastroenterologist or surgeon) to examine your entire colon using a long tube with a light and camera at the end. To keep you comfortable, medicine is given prior to the test to relax you and make you sleepy. If a polyp is found, it can be removed and hence prevent it from growing and becoming a cancer.
The risks of colonoscopy are very small compared to the potential benefits.
Who should get a colonoscopy? Any healthy man or woman above 40 years old. You should certainly get evaluated also if you have any symptoms including rectal bleeding, abdominal pain or change in bowel habits.
When it comes to your health, it is better to be proactive and informed!
Dr Pascale Anglade, MD
Consultant Gastroenterologist and Hepatologist
Certified by the American Boards of internal medicine and gastroenterology
Diagnostic and Therapeutic Endoscopy Center
8 Ikoyi Club Road, Ikoyi, Lagos
Please let us know your thoughts, when was your last medical check up?