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INFO! PRIZES!!!! March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month: Check Your 6

For the past three years, I have had the privilege of discussing Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month with you. Of all of the things I’ve done here, this is the one that I’m most proud of, and I consider it an honor to be asked to discuss it with those I consider to be the best group of people on the internet. Badger and Blade’’s efforts with raising awareness of this important topic have been incredibly successful, with the Check 6 initiative a model program that I’’d love to see other large organizations emulate. For those who have participated previously, much of what follows will be familiar. Welcome back and please stay involved. For those reading about this for the first time, I hope this informs you on a potentially life saving topic and encourages you to get involved for both yourself and your loved ones.


Since initiated by President Clinton in 2000, March has been designated as Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. This was done to spread awareness of the importance of screening for one of the only preventable cancers. Where, with most types of cancer, the best we can do is to find it early, colon cancer can often be prevented. While the majority of polyps don't turn cancerous, most colon cancer begins years earlier as a benign polyp. These can be removed during a colonoscopy, dramatically lowering the risk of subsequent cancer. Screening also helps find instances of early-onset cancer, where treatment is easier with a much better chance of long term survival.


I've been a primary care physician for over 25 years. I advise patients to get screened on a daily basis. Most agree to get checked, but not all do. I've seen more people found to have polyps than I can count. While there is no way of knowing which would have developed malignancies, it is great to realize that many never had to face the life changing battle with cancer. I've also had many patients where aggressive screening found cancer early enough that a cure was possible.


A good example of this is a patient of mine named Bill. Early on in my practice, Bill came in as a new patient. He was in his late fifties at the time, and very active. On his first visit, we discussed his prior health screening; he had never had colon or prostate cancer screening before. He agreed to have a digital rectal exam performed as I assured him that if it was any consolation, it was no more pleasant from my end.


Unfortunately for him, or fortunately depending on how you look at it, I found microscopic amounts of blood in his stool. I referred him for a colonoscopy and he was found to have an early stage of colon cancer. He had a successful partial colectomy and did very well. For the next 25 years, I saw Bill about once every three months. We would talk about how active and happy he was, his experiences square dancing each weekend (well into his eighties), where he was quite a hit with the ladies. And every visit, he thanked me for the fact that he was still alive. He was always matter-of-fact about it. He had a great life and the joy and passion he lived it with were obvious. He passed away recently, and the fact that he lived life fully for a couple of extra decades is something that gives me great satisfaction. This month alone, I’ve seen several patients whose polyps were detected during screening colonoscopy. I also saw a patient whose diagnosis of colon cancer may have been prevented if she had followed the advice to get screened. For years, she told me the same things. “Let me think about it” and “I’ll do it next year, when I have more time”.


While most of medicine is quite rewarding, other aspects are incredibly difficult. No textbook or medical school adequately prepares you to give people awful news. After all these years, it remains the hardest thing I have to do. When a bad report comes in, I immediately get a sinking feeling in my stomach. It’’s hard to sleep, knowing what I have to tell the patient the next morning. When I sit with them and say “it’’s cancer”, most everything I say afterwards gets tuned out. In the scheme of things, performing a digital rectal exam is infinitely more pleasant than trying to comfort someone during one of the most traumatic moments of their life. It is made even worse knowing that, despite all my admonitions, they skipped basic screening that could have prevented it or caught it much earlier.


That brings me back to Colorectal Cancer Awareness month.
If you are fifty years old or older, you should be getting routine screening for colon cancer. Despite being the second most common cause of cancer death, colon cancer is largely preventable.
There are several common ways to screen for colon cancer:
1. Yearly testing for occult blood through testing of stool specimens
2. Cologaurd testing- a newer test where a full bowel movement is collected and tested for DNA and hemoglobin markers for pre-cancerous and cancerous cells. While more sensitive than occult blood testing, it is more costly and firm guidelines regarding optimal intervals between testing have not yet been established.
3. CT colonography every five years.
4. Sigmoidoscopy ( looking with a short scope ) every five years
and the gold standard;
5. Colonoscopy every ten years.


If you have a first degree relative (parent, sibling or child) with colon cancer or adenomatous polyps before the age of 60, or two first degree relatives diagnosed at any age, screening should start at age 40 or 10 years younger than earliest family member’s diagnosis, whichever comes first. Some patients, like those with Familial Adenomatous Polyposis or Inflammatory Bowel Disease need even more aggressive screening, and should be seeing their physician regularly. If you fall into any of the above categories, please discuss further evaluation with your physician.



The first lecture of the first day of medical school, the legendary Woody Hayes spoke to our entire class about the importance of "Paying it Forward". We could never repay our teachers and families for all they had and would do for us. It was our obligation to pay forward to those coming afterwards. Few understand the concept of PIF better than the members of Badger and Blade. For those members who take the initiative to get screened, please post about your experience in this thread. Those who've done it in past years, let us know about your experience as well. My “lecture” about colon cancer screening carries much less weight than your stories do. I realize talking about it can be difficult, but if you convince one person to get screened who otherwise would have suffered with colon cancer, you will have done an amazing thing.

There are other ways to help. On Friday, March 3, I ask you to "Go Blue", wearing blue for the day. Like pink is worn for breast cancer awareness, blue is used to raise awareness for colorectal cancer. For the month of March, change your avatar to a blue one supporting colorectal cancer awareness. Encourage friends and family to get screened. Use social media to get the message out.


Badger and Blade has become my second family, and I know the rest of the team here feel the same. I’’d like to extend my sincere thanks for all their hard work. The thought that some will live longer, healthier lives makes it more than worth the effort.

The giveaway will close on Friday the 7th of April, and the drawing will take place over the weekend with winners announced on Monday the 10th of April.

We will randomly select five winners out of those who have gotten newly screened and shared their stories. The prizes up for grabs are below. A big thank you goes out to our kind donors Aviv at West Coast Shaving and Wendy at Saint Charles
  • 1x $100 West Coast Shaving Gift Voucher
  • 1x $75 West Coast Shaving Gift Voucher
  • 3x Saint Charles Shave Check Six soap
Also, we will randomly select five winners out of those who have shared their stories, be it about themselves or others. The prizes up for grabs are below. A big thank goes out to our kind donors Aviv at West Coast Shaving and Wendy at Saint Charles
  • 1x $100 West Coast Shaving Gift Voucher
  • 1x $75 West Coast Shaving Gift Voucher
  • 3x Saint Charles Shave Check Six soap
 
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I turned 40 last year, and decided to get a jump on things and have a colonoscopy done. I've had some issues with hemorrhoids and bleeding in the past, so I thought it best to start checking early. The process was easier than expected and painless. Fasting was the worst part. Everything looked good and I'm good for another 10 years. Had it not been for these posts on B&B, I'd have never even thought about getting checked. It's good to have the support of everyone here. If you haven't yet, please get checked!
 
Keep watching this thread to learn of upcoming prizes to be awarded to those participating in the thread. There will be something for a members signing up for screening, and a prize for someone who tells us about their previous experience. We have been fortunate to have donations from a pair of our vendors: Aviv at West Coast Shaving and Wendy at Saint Charles Shave.
 
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I literally just got checked yesterday. I'm on the three year plan due to some gruesome family history as well as my own history with polyps. The prep wasn't a big deal (4 times over the course of 5 years, so I'm kind of used to it), but I agree with KJ that the fasting was the worst of it. The procedure itself, well, I can't even criticize it because I wasn't awake for it. They wheeled me into the exam room, pumped some drugs into my IV and the next thing I know, I'm waking up back in the main area. I had an endoscopy too (got checked at both ends), since the family history puts me at risk for some other cancers as well. The good news is that the endoscopy was clean, no problems! This year, I had just one small polyp in the colonoscopy, so I'll be back to see the doc in another 3 years.
 
My father was diagnosed with colon and rectal cancer 3 years ago.

Ill try to keep this story short.

My father was suffering from regular fatigue, and after a few months of consultation with different doctors, one recommended that he get a colonoscopy to see if he was loosing blood through his colon leading to low iron levels and fatigue.

Three weeks later we were in the hospital waiting for him to come out of surgery. He was diagnosed with stage 2 colon and rectal cancer. They cut 2+ feet from his colon and rectum. The surgery was the easy part, the recovery was much harder. We spent the next 10 weeks in the hospital. His intestines were not processing the food or liquid, so we was fed and hydrated through a port. He had to continue to "eat" through the port for another 6 weeks after leaving the hospital to allow his body to fully heal.

Right before he was supposed to get the port taken out of his body, he got an infection through one of the openings in his body. The infection turned into sepsis which caused his lungs to collapse, kidneys to fail, liver to fail, and his heart to stop beating. After a helicopter ride to a special unit, and a few days in the ICU, he started to recover. He ended up with a pacemaker, a new heart valve, and a slight liver damage.

My father is doing very well now. He is able to eat, has energy, is working again, and overall is leading a normal life. To me the sad part of the story is that what he went through was preventable with colonoscopies and checkups.

Mike called me a few minutes ago to see if we would partner with B&B to spread the message. I told him that we are honored to be part of the initiative, and that it hits home for me. Thank you Mike for putting this together.

-Aviv, West Coast Shaving
 
Due in Large part to the Check-6 program 2-years ago/ I decided at 50 to get one done. I have not family history of cancer, thankfully, but I just decided it was time now being a half a century old. My doctor had not even mentioned it. I started talking about it to my friends and colleagues, and most if not all thought it was crazy for all the obvious reasons, and began to tell me the horror stories of the "Prep", Gallons of liquid, cramps, hours spent on the throne.

It was almost enough to bail, but after reading some of the stories, I decided to face the fear and just do it. The fasting was not as hard as I thought, I also found out that a new prep procedure "Prepopik" was now available with two 8 ounce glasses one at 6 pm and one at 10pm. Tasted like 7-up, got a TV Tray camped in the shave den with a tablet ( B&B of course ) and let nature do the cleansing. no pain, no problems, no biggies. In bed my Midnight at the procedure by 8am done by 9 am . All clear and now on 10-yr plan. Could not have been easier + the "Boss" took me out for all you can eat Chinese buffet after. Win Win.

Moral of the story. Just get it done and if this saves just one life it is worth it.

Dont forget to catch the next episode B&B Radio on March 6th, and our special guest will be @mdevine, where we will be talking about this very subject!!

Thanks Mike and everyone willing to share in this important subject
 
I turned 40 last year, and decided to get a jump on things and have a colonoscopy done. I've had some issues with hemorrhoids and bleeding in the past, so I thought it best to start checking early. The process was easier than expected and painless. Fasting was the worst part. Everything looked good and I'm good for another 10 years. Had it not been for these posts on B&B, I'd have never even thought about getting checked. It's good to have the support of everyone here. If you haven't yet, please get checked!

I literally just got checked yesterday. I'm on the three year plan due to some gruesome family history as well as my own history with polyps. The prep wasn't a big deal (4 times over the course of 5 years, so I'm kind of used to it), but I agree with KJ that the fasting was the worst of it. The procedure itself, well, I can't even criticize it because I wasn't awake for it. They wheeled me into the exam room, pumped some drugs into my IV and the next thing I know, I'm waking up back in the main area. I had an endoscopy too (got checked at both ends), since the family history puts me at risk for some other cancers as well. The good news is that the endoscopy was clean, no problems! This year, I had just one small polyp in the colonoscopy, so I'll be back to see the doc in another 3 years.

My father was diagnosed with colon and rectal cancer 3 years ago.

Ill try to keep this story short.

My father was suffering from regular fatigue, and after a few months of consultation with different doctors, one recommended that he get a colonoscopy to see if he was loosing blood through his colon leading to low iron levels and fatigue.

Three weeks later we were in the hospital waiting for him to come out of surgery. He was diagnosed with stage 2 colon and rectal cancer. They cut 2+ feet from his colon and rectum. The surgery was the easy part, the recovery was much harder. We spent the next 10 weeks in the hospital. His intestines were not processing the food or liquid, so we was fed and hydrated through a port. He had to continue to "eat" through the port for another 6 weeks after leaving the hospital to allow his body to fully heal.

Right before he was supposed to get the port taken out of his body, he got an infection through one of the openings in his body. The infection turned into sepsis which caused his lungs to collapse, kidneys to fail, liver to fail, and his heart to stop beating. After a helicopter ride to a special unit, and a few days in the ICU, he started to recover. He ended up with a pacemaker, a new heart valve, and a slight liver damage.

My father is doing very well now. He is able to eat, has energy, is working again, and overall is leading a normal life. To me the sad part of the story is that what he went through was preventable with colonoscopies and checkups.

Mike called me a few minutes ago to see if we would partner with B&B to spread the message. I told him that we are honored to be part of the initiative, and that it hits home for me. Thank you Mike for putting this together.

-Aviv, West Coast Shaving

Due in Large part to the Check-6 program 2-years ago/ I decided at 50 to get one done. I have not family history of cancer, thankfully, but I just decided it was time now being a half a century old. My doctor had not even mentioned it. I started talking about it to my friends and colleagues, and most if not all thought it was crazy for all the obvious reasons, and began to tell me the horror stories of the "Prep", Gallons of liquid, cramps, hours spent on the throne.

It was almost enough to bail, but after reading some of the stories, I decided to face the fear and just do it. The fasting was not as hard as I thought, I also found out that a new prep procedure "Prepopik" was now available with two 8 ounce glasses one at 6 pm and one at 10pm. Tasted like 7-up, got a TV Tray camped in the shave den with a tablet ( B&B of course ) and let nature do the cleansing. no pain, no problems, no biggies. In bed my Midnight at the procedure by 8am done by 9 am . All clear and now on 10-yr plan. Could not have been easier + the "Boss" took me out for all you can eat Chinese buffet after. Win Win.

Moral of the story. Just get it done and if this saves just one life it is worth it.

Dont forget to catch the next episode B&B Radio on March 6th, and our special guest will be @mdevine, where we will be talking about this very subject!!

Thanks Mike and everyone willing to share in this important subject

Ok, 55, suppose it's time.

Maro

KJ, Bob, Aviv, Dave and Maro, thanks for telling your stories and getting checked. It's great seeing evryone leading by example.
 
I literally just got checked yesterday. I'm on the three year plan due to some gruesome family history as well as my own history with polyps. The prep wasn't a big deal (4 times over the course of 5 years, so I'm kind of used to it), but I agree with KJ that the fasting was the worst of it. The procedure itself, well, I can't even criticize it because I wasn't awake for it. They wheeled me into the exam room, pumped some drugs into my IV and the next thing I know, I'm waking up back in the main area. I had an endoscopy too (got checked at both ends), since the family history puts me at risk for some other cancers as well. The good news is that the endoscopy was clean, no problems! This year, I had just one small polyp in the colonoscopy, so I'll be back to see the doc in another 3 years.
Bob, Really liked your avatar so I stole it, hope that is Oki Doki
 
For the record, I have a deep interest in this topic, as I am an RN deeply involved in the detection, tracking, and followup of colorectal cancer. Further, this disease and another synchronous primary cancer killed my mother at age 65. Because of her history, my screening began at age 40, and continued at five year intervals. Never had a polyp, but at age 56 I was found to have Stage III mucinous appendix adenocarcinoma (appendix is attached to the cecum, the structure that forms the junction of the small intestine and colon). Immediate surgery and subsequent chemo have proven successful. This was not found via a scope; initially I thought I had a recurrence of a previously repaired hernia. I embrace what B&B has done, and applaud that they'll continue to publicize this each year. Even if, or let me say, especially if a cancer is found, that's a good thing. It allows you to take charge of the situation, and take care of the cancer, and get back to the business of living. I hope no one finds a cancer, but if cancer is found early enough, it is survivable, believe me. Best of luck to all! And get scoped!
 
After reading a similar thread last year, I scheduled my first colonoscopy. I'd just turned 50 and figured that I should sign up before I forgot about getting it done.

I can think of things I'd rather do than go through the prep, but it was not nearly as bad or uncomfortable as I had expected. The procedure was quick and I was awake the whole time. The colonoscopy revealed one small polyp that was removed. I'm now on the 5 year plan and will be sure to schedule then.
 
This July I will be 29 years old....
Not chronologically, but mentally.

In July of 1988 I was diagnosed with adenocarcinoma of the colon.
Single polyp excised with a sigmoid scope.
3 days later … Colon Surgery
18 inches of colon gone.. numerous lymph nodes….. chemo, radiation….. man did I look bad bald.
For the first 2 years after the surgery, 2 colonscopes a year… no sedation.
Since then 1 a year…. At least 1 to 15 polyps taken out each time. Scheduled for next month
Easiest thing to do……get it done. I hope to never have anyone join the Cancer Survivors club…but because of a scope I am a member and here today.


GET IT DONE !!!!!!!!

Thanks Doc for reminding all about this so important test
the life you nsave could be your own
 
Mike:
Great read...and my next scheduled colonoscopy and esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD...a test to examine the lining of the esophagus, stomach, and first part of the small intestine), is next month.
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"Laughter is the best medicine". Unknown Author
 
Two years ago yesterday I celebrated the start Colon Cancer Awareness Month by having a BM and passing gas. The requirements to be discharged after a right hemicolectomy. I had gone in for my happy 50th birthday colonoscopy in January not expecting any issues but found out otherwise. I had no symptoms other than some slight anemia and fatigue which I chalked up to turning 50 and rolling a car on a wet mountain road (not the same day) a few months earlier. Thankfully I was Stage 0 but if I had put it off any longer my prognosis could have been much different. My check last year was clear and I am due back in 2019 for my next scope. Get it done, if not for yourself, for the ones you love. Ignorance is not bliss.
 
This July I will be 29 years old....
Not chronologically, but mentally.

In July of 1988 I was diagnosed with adenocarcinoma of the colon.
Single polyp excised with a sigmoid scope.
3 days later … Colon Surgery
18 inches of colon gone.. numerous lymph nodes….. chemo, radiation….. man did I look bad bald.
For the first 2 years after the surgery, 2 colonscopes a year… no sedation.
Since then 1 a year…. At least 1 to 15 polyps taken out each time. Scheduled for next month
Easiest thing to do……get it done. I hope to never have anyone join the Cancer Survivors club…but because of a scope I am a member and here today.


GET IT DONE !!!!!!!!

Thanks Doc for reminding all about this so important test
the life you nsave could be your own

Two years ago yesterday I celebrated the start Colon Cancer Awareness Month by having a BM and passing gas. The requirements to be discharged after a right hemicolectomy. I had gone in for my happy 50th birthday colonoscopy in January not expecting any issues but found out otherwise. I had no symptoms other than some slight anemia and fatigue which I chalked up to turning 50 and rolling a car on a wet mountain road (not the same day) a few months earlier. Thankfully I was Stage 0 but if I had put it off any longer my prognosis could have been much different. My check last year was clear and I am due back in 2019 for my next scope. Get it done, if not for yourself, for the ones you love. Ignorance is not bliss.

This is why we get scoped. So very treatable in many, many cases. :)
 
My father was diagnosed with colon and rectal cancer 3 years ago.

Ill try to keep this story short.

My father was suffering from regular fatigue, and after a few months of consultation with different doctors, one recommended that he get a colonoscopy to see if he was loosing blood through his colon leading to low iron levels and fatigue.

Three weeks later we were in the hospital waiting for him to come out of surgery. He was diagnosed with stage 2 colon and rectal cancer. They cut 2+ feet from his colon and rectum. The surgery was the easy part, the recovery was much harder. We spent the next 10 weeks in the hospital. His intestines were not processing the food or liquid, so we was fed and hydrated through a port. He had to continue to "eat" through the port for another 6 weeks after leaving the hospital to allow his body to fully heal.

Right before he was supposed to get the port taken out of his body, he got an infection through one of the openings in his body. The infection turned into sepsis which caused his lungs to collapse, kidneys to fail, liver to fail, and his heart to stop beating. After a helicopter ride to a special unit, and a few days in the ICU, he started to recover. He ended up with a pacemaker, a new heart valve, and a slight liver damage.

My father is doing very well now. He is able to eat, has energy, is working again, and overall is leading a normal life. To me the sad part of the story is that what he went through was preventable with colonoscopies and checkups.

Mike called me a few minutes ago to see if we would partner with B&B to spread the message. I told him that we are honored to be part of the initiative, and that it hits home for me. Thank you Mike for putting this together.

-Aviv, West Coast Shaving
Thanks for sharing, Aviv.

I'm glad you Dad is doing better.
 
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