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My paternal grandfather was diagnosed with lupus and skin cancer when in his 30s, but it was colon cancer that took him in his 90s. Because I also have lupus and chronic colitis, I have to go for periodic colonoscopies. It is not fun, but it is not complicated. I think the worst part is the preparation the day before. I'm accustomed to drinking electrolyte fluids, but PEG is a challenge. My procedure involves going in "both ends," rectally and orally. So, I'm eternally grateful to modern anesthesiology for making it "a breeze" for me - since I'm totally knocked out.

My doctor is really funny and put my husband at complete ease about the procedure. Fortunately, my polyps were benign.

My mother has also gone through this procedure and only remembers counting backwards from 100 (she said she thinks she might have made it to 88, I don't think I made it that far!). Fortunately, her polyps were benign.

My father recently had to undergo a colonoscopy that revealed some pre-cancerous cells. With a history of colorectal issues on both sides of my family, plus my lupus, it is that much more important for me to be more attentive to my health and any changes in my bowel.

As Michelle advises, please have this done, especially, I might add, if you have a family history or medical condition that would indicate a risk of developing colon cancer, or if you're 50 or over. Pay attention to any significant changes in your bowel patterns and know the symptoms.

Learn more on empowHer:
Colon Cancer: Common and Curable, Rick Alan, empowHer Encyclopedia
Colorectal Cancer, Laurie LaRusso, MS, ELS, empowHer Encyclopedia
Colon Cancer Community ASK on empowHer.com

Other resources:
empowHer video: Dr. Vashi - Cancer Symptoms, Can They Be Misdiagnosed As IBS?
Overview of Colon Cancer Symptoms

May 6, 2009 - 5:08pm


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