EARLY DETECTION OF CANCER
AS RECOMMENDED BY THE AMERICAN CANCER SOCIETY
All women who are or have been sexually active or who are 18 or older should have an annual Pap test and pelvic examination. After 3 or more consecutive satisfactory examinations with normal findings, the Pap test may be performed less frequently. Discuss this with your health care professional.
WOMEN AND MEN
Colon & Rectum
Women and men who are age 50 or older should follow one of the examination schedules below:
The fecal occult blood test every year. It is a simple at home procedure that checks the stool for hidden blood that can be a sign of cancer, polyps, or other internal disorders. In the flexible sigmoidoscopy examination, a physician looks inside the rectum and lower colon through a flexible, hollow, lighted tube. The sigmoidoscope can view almost half of the colon. The exam should be done every 5 years
A colonoscopy and a digital rectal exam every 10 years. The colonsocope is long enough to view the entire colon.
Double-contrast barium enema plus a digital rectal exam every 5 to 10 years. This procedure consists of a x-ray of the entire colon taken after barium sulfate and air is inserted into the colon. Before the test is given, you will be told how to cleanse your bowels the night before the exam is given.
A digital rectal exam should be done at the same time as a sigmoidocoscopy, colonoscopy, or double contrast barium enema.
Remember, these guidelines are not hard and fast rules, and they apply only to people without symptoms. If you have a change of bowel habits, rectal bleeding, or stomach cramps that don't go away, see your doctor right away.
See article on prostate cancer
FOR AN INFORMATIVE AND PERSONAL ARTICLE ON PRACTICAL SUGGESTIONS WHEN SELECTING A NURSING HOME SEE OUR ARTICLE "HOW TO SELECT A NURSING HOME".
By Allan Rubin
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