Recently, I had a routine diagnostic medical procedure. Well, since you asked, I had a colonoscopy.
After the procedure, I acquired a certificate from the doctor which read in part: I have done a thorough examination and do hereby certify, attest and affirm that, notwithstanding the belief of several attorneys who have appeared before him, his head is not up there.
The certificate will be available for the next time that unfair accusation is leveled against me!
On a more serious note, in 2008 my younger brother, Mark, was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer. The cancer had spread to his lymph nodes and his liver. After surgery, chemotherapy and lots of prayers from family and friends, he was declared cancer free in 2009. He has not had a recurrence of colon cancer since then.
The first thing my brother did after his diagnosis was to call each and every one of his seven siblings and exacted a promise that we would have the procedure done right away – and a promise that he would hound and harass each of us until it was done. Colon cancer is quite treatable if caught early (74% survival after five years for Stage 1). If it spreads to the lymph nodes and liver, it is often fatal (6% survival rate after five years for Stage 4 – so you can see how very fortunate my brother was).
A representative at the Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota has told me “We now have better weapons for fighting the disease: more options for diagnosis and treatment, improved therapies and new technologies for early detection. We also now know that people can take steps to protect themselves against cancer. Any person at the age of 50 should have a colonoscopy to prevent colo-rectal cancer. If a region of diseased colon is found it can be evaluated and treated before it becomes more problematic. It saves lives.”
Occasionally, I have folks appear before me in Court with who are suffering from one of the many forms of cancer. I really feel bad for them, as usually it’s no fun to come to court, anyway, much less with that diagnosis weighing on one’s mind.
So, if you are over 50 years, talk to your primary care physician about whether this lifesaving test is appropriate for you.
Next Week: I’m Not the Best Person to Make That Decision