I want to let you know that March is
Colon Cancer Awareness month and it’s a good time to tell you about the importance of completing
your colon cancer screening. You might ask why a pediatrician is focused
on encouraging colon cancer screenings? Isn’t it a disease that
affects primarily middle-age to older adults? I am promoting the importance
because I am a physician, preventative screenings are very important,
and because I care about your family. Every time a loved one is diagnosed
with cancer, it affects the entire family and I have experienced this
Colon cancer, if detected early through regular screenings, is very treatable.
Too often though, it is identified in the late stages of the disease for
which there is no cure. Unfortunately, this was exactly my mother’s
case. She did not follow the guidelines for colon cancer screenings and
she started to have symptoms that were concerning to her. By the time
she went to her doctor, it was too late, and hospice was her only option.
Sadly, she never got to know her grandchildren. Cancer can affect an entire
family across generations.
So, please, I urge you to talk to your primary care doctor about colon
cancer screenings. You or a loved one may be eligible. Remember, early
disease detection is key to successful treatment. And, children want their
parents and grandparents in their lives!
Dr. Paula Gustafson
MHP Chief Medical Officer & Pediatrician