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Be Proactive During National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

I am really looking forward to my colonoscopy,” said no one ever.

Let’s face it; a colonoscopy ranks right up there with a root canal for least favorite necessary evil. The good news is that some of the prep has improved in the last few years, and there are new less invasive screenings available. If caught early enough, colorectal cancer can be treated and cured.

National colorectal awareness monthThe Quiet Cancer

Unfortunately there are virtually no early symptoms of colorectal cancer. The very earliest sign may be a routine blood test with a high red cell blood count.

When symptoms do present themselves, diarrhea, constipation, and changes in the shape and color of stools are noticed. Patients may bleed, have excessive flatulence (gas), and experience weight loss.

Call your doctor immediately if you notice any of these early symptoms.

Who’s At Risk?

There are multiple risk factors associated with colorectal cancer, and some of which are out of your control. For example, if someone in your family has a history of colorectal cancer, you may be more susceptible. In addition, as you age, you are more at risk, and anyone of Eastern European descent, African American, and Jewish descent tend to more prone to having the disease. Having Type 2 diabetes is also problematic.

No matter your age you can make changes to your lifestyle to reduce the risks.

  • Lose weight if you are obese.
  • Cut back on alcohol
  • Curb your consumption of high cholesterol foods and red meat.
  • Abandon your “couch potato” lifestyle.

Value Of The Colonoscopy

The American Cancer Society recommends that a patient have a colonoscopy starting at age 50. If the risk factors are high, doctors may recommend an earlier start to testing and more frequent follow up tests.

A colonoscopy has two important objectives.

  • To detect precancerous polyps in the colon and rectum, which can easily be removed.
  • To detect the presence of colon cancer in its early stages.

Statistics tell us that 1 in 22 males and 1 in 24 women will be diagnosed with colon cancer in their life. Colorectal Cancer Awareness month reminds us to take control and be proactive.

Start thinking of a colonoscopy as a preventative measure and not only a discovery tool.

Scheduling a Colonoscopy in Puyallup, WA

If you are over the age of 50 and have even a minimal risk for colon cancer, contact Northwest Medical Specialties at (253) 428-8700 about scheduling a colonoscopy.

HEALTH ALERT! For the safety of our patients and staff only patients will be allowed into our clinics and everyone MUST wear a mask. See additional information regarding the Coronavirus (COVID-19).

COVID-19 NOTICE

November 16, 2020 Update

IMPORTANT: NO VISITORS
During these difficult times we are making every effort to keep our patients and staff safe from COVID 19, we appreciate your patience and understanding with the changes you may have seen within our practice.

We strive to protect our patients and staff as much as we possibly can from any exposure on our premises.  NWMS has implemented a system wide policy that does not allow anyone in the building that is not a patient and everyone must wear an NWMS provided mask over their mouth and nose during their time on our premises.  This is to protect our vulnerable patients from the unforeseen possibility of exposure to COVID 19 which can be transmitted through aerosol droplets.  Sadly, we have had patients that have died from the complications of COVID 19, which is both devastating and preventable.

We offer a virtual visit option for family, friends, and companions to participate in the care of our patients through Zoom.  Our staff will assist you with every step of the login process and invite you to participate in real time from your vehicle or designated safe space in our building. Please contact us at 253-428-8700 to set this up.

The following offices are temporarily closed:

  • Bonney Lake
  • Federal Way

If you are experiencing cold or flu symptoms, please make sure to contact us via phone prior to your appointment. You may also contact us for any additional questions by calling our office at (253) 428-8700.

Here are a few additional resources as well:

World Health Organization

Centers for Disease Control