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Elder Care Seattle WA: March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

Caring For Our Elders During National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

Elder Care Seattle WA: Recommended screening is a very critical part of preventative care. Colorectal cancer is an issue that all seniors should be screened for. March is committed to helping folks gain knowledge about this disease. It is the second top cause of deaths stemming from cancers that influence both sexes, and 90% of individuals diagnosed with colon cancer were over 50. It is advised that screening start at age 50 and progress until age 75. There are different tests that should be performed routinely to examine for colon cancer. Elder Care Seattle WA

A colonoscopy should be done once and then every ten years. During this exam, the large and small bowels are viewed with a little camera. This is performed to uncover and take out any polyps and is critical to early cancer diagnosis. The first colonoscopy should be done at age fifty.

While a colonoscopy allows the exam of the entire four to five feet of the colon, a flexible sigmoidoscopy permits the sigmoid colon or the final two feet to be viewed. A colonoscopy is a preferred procedure over a sigmoidoscopy; however, a sigmoidoscopy is shorter. A sigmoidoscopy should be completed every five years.

A fecal occult blood test is a process of colorectal cancer screening that should be done each year. This involves a stool sample being sent to a lab for testing. Chemicals are used to identify blood that cannot be seen. If blood is discovered in the stool, further testing is mandatory. A patient may be referred for a colonoscopy.

A double contrast barium enema may be used every five years for extra testing. This is an approach in which an X-ray of the colon is obtained. The barium used in this exam  highlights the large intestine. It is at the same time delivered to expand the colon, allowing for clearer images. The barium will pass out of the body with stools.

Every person between the ages of fifty and seventy-five should have regular testing for colorectal cancer. Testing should be set up sooner with family history of colorectal cancer or with a diagnosis of inflammatory bowel disease. Tests are also recommended in some seniors who are over the age of seventy-five. Talk to your primary care physician about colorectal cancer screening today.

At Andelcare, we are dedicated to helping our elders live life to its fullest! If you are interested in how we can help your family with elder care in the Seattle WA area, call 888-788-3051.