Bottom’s Up: Why Focusing on Your Bottom should be a Top Health Priority

November 14, 2007 by  
Filed under CANCER

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Hi there, readers! Since I’ll be on the road travelling for the next two days, I asked Amanda Devereaux, one of my former bosses and best friends, to step in for me for the following guest post.   Amanda, who is blessed with both beauty and brains, has a Ph.D. in Microbiology and is currently working in a cancer research laboratory.  I’m sure you’ll find her opinions as entertaining as I do!

It is that time of year again.  No, I am not talking about all the snow, ice, and crappy weather associated with winter, check local weather forecast.  It’s time to take care of your bottom.  

It has long been known that a colonoscopy is used to screen for colon cancer, and is your best bet at detecting a tumor in the early, treatable stages. Now, doctors with the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Portland, Oregon, have published new research showing that colonoscopies can also be useful in predicting the development of advanced tumors as well.

This study, published in the journal of Gastroenterology, examined the records of 3,121 patients between the ages of 50 and 75 who had a colonoscopy between 1994 and 1997. Of these, 1, 171 patients presented with growths at the time of the initial colonoscopy, and the subjects were monitored with repeat colonoscopy procedures over the next 5 years (talk about a bummer, ba dum dum ching!!!!). At the follow-up, 7.4% of patients with initial growths were found to have advanced tumors, in comparison to 2.4% of those without growths in the initial test. These results will help divide patients into risk groups after the initial colonoscopy, and will help determine the number and frequency of any additional colonoscopy procedures.

Now I know what you are all thinking. I can think of about 100 other things I would rather do than have someone shove a camera where the sun don’t shine. But it really isn’t all that bad. I had a colonoscopy at the tender age of 25 (they were checking for Crone’s disease; turns out I am just a nervous fuss with irritable bowels!). The worst part of the whole thing was the “pre-cleansing” ritual of drinking 4 liters of a substance called “GoLightly”. What a joke that name is:   it should be called “Run like hell and pray you make it to the bathroom every 15 minutes for the next 4 hours”. The next morning I went to the hospital, they drugged me up, and the next thing I knew, it was over. Now, I understand that talking about your butt is taboo, and not in good taste. Just ask Emily Post. But if this article convinces at least one person to get checked out, possibly saving their lives, then I can live with being in bad taste.

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