Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Select Page

March is colorectal cancer awareness month

March is colorectal cancer awareness month

March is colorectal cancer awareness month

By George Joe
Tuba City Regional Health Care Corporation

TUBA CITY – March is colorectal cancer awareness month, and if you’re over 45, this month is a good time to get screened for colorectal cancer.

According to the latest cancer report compiled by the Navajo Department of Health, cancer is the second leading cause of death, and colorectal (colon) cancer is the second most common cancer diagnosed among Navajo males. But if it is caught early, it can be cured.

Tuba City Regional Health Care physician Dr. Myles Stone says that most early colorectal cancers do not produce symptoms. “This means that many people miss the opportunity for treatment when it is most effective,” Stone said. “Screening can even identify pre-cancers (polyps) so they can be removed before they ever cause problems.”

The Navajo Health Department cancer report also said cancer screening among the Navajos is low, particularly for colorectal cancer.

But there is now an at-home test product that is available for patients, said Stone.

The other option for colon cancer screening is a colonoscopy. “It’s a great choice for certain patients,” Stone said, “but it’s much more involved. The at-home tests let people get screened whenever it’s convenient for them.”

The test kits work by checking the stool for small amounts of blood. That is often the earliest sign of severe problems like colon cancer.

“Our goal is to screen as many people as possible and having a variety of options lets patients choose the right approach,” said Dr. Matthew Daab, Tuba City Regional Health Care Corporation’s chief of family medicine.

Stone said all one has to do is visit any TCRHCC clinic and see a provider. “We can even do the initial meeting through telehealth, meaning that we can call you and ask a few questions.

“Then a kit will be mailed to you,” he said. “There is no cost, and it’s a simple procedure with clear instructions. You then mail the kit back, and we will contact you in a few days with the results.”

Stone said, “The technology behind at-home colon cancer tests was invented about 20 years ago.” Over that time, multiple studies have shown how effective it can be in increasing access to accurate, safe screening.

“We highly recommend everyone out there to get screened. Tell your family and friends,” he said.


ADVERTISEMENT

Weather & Road Conditions

Window Rock Weather

Fair

66.0 F (18.9 C)
Dewpoint: 48.0 F (8.9 C)
Humidity: 52%
Wind: West at 4.6 MPH (4 KT)
Pressure: 30.33

More weather »

ADVERTISEMENT