Are you 50 and Fearless?
Fear is the top reason why 50-year-olds avoid colonoscopy screening for colon cancer. Whether it's fear of the prep, the procedure or potential results, colonoscopy could be a lifesaver when detecting colon cancer, the second leading cancer killer in the U.S.
That's why Scottsdale Healthcare is launching its 50andFearless.org health education campaign during March, National Colon Cancer Awareness Month.
Although a screening colonoscopy is recommended starting at age 50, if there is a family history of colorectal cancer or polyps, screenings should begin at age 40. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that up to 60 percent of colorectal cancer deaths could be prevented if all men and women age 50 years and older were routinely screened.
#50andFearless on social media
Community members are encouraged to use the #50andFearless hashtag and tweet to @SHCpublicinfo and go to Scottsdale Healthcare's Facebook page for the 50andFearless.org badge to show they've overcome their fears and scheduled a colonoscopy.
According to the American Cancer Society:
• Colon cancer is the second leading cancer killer for men and women in the U.S.
• 102,480 new diagnoses of colon cancer are expected in 2013.
• 50,830 colon cancer deaths expected during 2013.
• One-in-20 lifetime risk of developing colorectal cancer.
• 1 million survivors of colorectal cancer in the U.S. thanks to early detection and treatment.
Wolf's colonoscopy ‘a piece of cake'
The 50andFearless.org campaign is supported by a multimedia campaign featuring local sports broadcaster, restaurateur and former NFL all-pro fullback Ron Wolfley.
Visitors to 50andFearless.org can see Wolf, who recently turned 50 and had his colonoscopy performed at Scottsdale Healthcare, talking about his experience and urging people 50 and older to get over their fears and schedule a colonoscopy.
"The prep wasn't pretty but the procedure was a piece of cake, thanks to the all pro team at Scottsdale Healthcare. I had a benign polyp which was removed right then and there," said Wolfley. "If colon cancer is detected early, you just saved your life. Think of it like a prevent defense, so you can live more and fear less."
"Colon cancer is probably the most preventable cancer because it usually doesn't come out of the blue. It takes a long time," said Dr. Stuart Triester, a board-certified gastroenterologist at Scottsdale Healthcare.
That means it's important to remove benign polyps, which often can be accomplished during a colonoscopy.
"By eliminating the polyps, you're helping to eliminate the risk of cancer," Triester said.
Polyps are found in approximately 30 percent of people older than age 50 and typically don't cause any symptoms.
Visitors to 50andFearless.org will find information about screening and scheduling a colonoscopy, treatment options, Scottsdale Healthcare gastroenterologists and upcoming events. Stories of others who overcame their fears also are presented.