Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Don't Press Your Luck: Cancer Prevention

Always a political activist, cousin Eve finally got her dream of going to the Iowa caucuses. Leaving the supervision of her active 4 year-old twins to the care of her sweetheart of a husband, she ventured to Des Moines only to spend her free time in the local hospital where she battled extreme pain.

“Another crazy Californian,” the staff must have thought as they released her a couple of times before running some serious tests.

Admittedly, Eve can be a little “over the top” (quiet she isn’t) but the pain was real and it took a special doctor to recognize that there was, indeed, a problem…a serious problem.

The 39 year-old was rushed to surgery. Part of her colon and some diseased lymph nodes were removed. Now she is fighting with every ounce of determination to be a cancer survivor.

As I prepare to head north to oversee the princess and the ballerina while mom gets and recovers from her chemo, I am raging inside at the idiocy of our medical insurers which don’t provide funds for colonoscopies at an age younger than 50.

Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths. If found early enough, this killer can usually be arrested by surgery.

Check out these websites to protect yourself and others:

1. Preparing for and having a colonoscopy

2. Causes, risks, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatments for colon cancer

3. Volunteer to gather signatures to lower the screening age for colonoscopies

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