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Avoiding a colonoscopy?

Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in men and the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths in women, according the American Cancer Society. It will cause an estimated 50,260 deaths in 2017. The overall risk of developing colon cancer in a lifetime is about 1 in 21 for men and 1 in 23 for women.

Although these statistics sound dire, the good news is that the incidence has been steadily declining for the past 20 years due to early detection and treatment. Being diagnosed early can truly save your life. The five-year relative survival rate for people with Stage I colon cancer is about 92 percent versus an 11 percent five-year survival rate for people with Stage IV colon cancers.

So why don’t more people get a colonoscopy to detect this cancer? The most common objection is the bothersome necessary bowel preparation to clean the colon before the procedure. If you are feeling good, why go through all of that discomfort? However, the bottom line is that a few hours of mild discomfort could save your life. Here are a few reasons that a colonoscopy is worth your time.

Stop a problem before it starts
During a colonoscopy, the doctor is able to see colorectal polyps before they become cancerous. Small or medium sized polyps can often be removed during a colonoscopy. They can then be sent to a laboratory to be examined to see if they are cancerous, precancerous or noncancerous.

Early treatment is easier treatment
If cancer is found during a colonoscopy, it is much easier to treat when it is in its early stages. If the cancer has not grown beyond the inner lining of the colon and is still small, it can simply be removed. Cancer that is not detected early and has grown into the lining walls requires more complicated treatment.

Avoiding the cancer spread
Colon cancer that is not treated can spread to other parts of the body. This spread is more difficult to treat and treatment can be very invasive. The cancer usually will not stay in one place so it is important to treat colon cancers as quickly as possible.

The best method
There are other tests available for colon cancer screening but a colonoscopy is considered the most reliable and effective. Since a colonoscopy allows the physician to view the entire colon and remove polyps at the same time, it is the also the most cost effective. Although you may have to pay a deductible for the procedure, the cost of a colonoscopy is far less than the cost of treating colon cancers.

Time well spent
Although it is true that a colonoscopy is going to interfere with your normal routine for a few days, it is well worth the time. Since you are given medication to put you to sleep during the procedure, it is painless and recovery is usually just a few hours of sleep. The amount of inconvenience for a colonoscopy is far less than the effort needed to treat undetected colon cancers.

When colon cancer strikes
Receiving a colorectal cancer diagnosis is not a death sentence, especially if it is detected in the early stages. In some cases surgery is needed followed by a time of recovery. For the best post-operative outcome, consider the colorectal care program at Glenview Terrace where there is  an interdisciplinary and patient-centered system of care. Each patient will receive care designed to meet their specific needs under the direction of board-certified colorectal surgeons John Park, MD, and Slawomir J. Marecik, MD. This specialized level of care during recovery means fewer complications, decreased costs, shorter lengths of stay, fewer hospital readmissions and better patient satisfaction.

Glenview Terrace can provide a seamless continuation of care following a hospital stay. Ostomy wound care nurses trained in Advocate Lutheran General’s protocols are on staff to provide the proper care. Nurses are available 24 hours a day to provide other skilled care as needed. Therapists work with each patient seven days a week to help patients regain strength and return to an active lifestyle. Dietitians who are experienced with focused nutritional needs create individualized dietary plans for a more successful recovery. Staff members also provide helpful information about regaining and improving a healthy lifestyle. You can be assured that Glenview Terrace’s team of experts are focused on providing the best possible recovery as quickly as possible.

In addition to focused, skilled care, guests at Glenview Terrace will also enjoy elegant surroundings and attentive care. Accommodations include spacious rooms with deluxe bathrooms featuring walk-in showers. Thoughtful extras include morning coffee and newspaper delivery as well as concierge services. The beautifully landscaped grounds with a spacious patio and tranquil fountain also provide both an elegant and calming environment for a time of recovery.

When it is time for expert care during a time of healing, consider Glenview Terrace where the focus is always to help get you back to the independent lifestyle you desire. For additional information or to arrange a tour, visit or call 847-729-9090.

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