As an employee in the Communications office at MD Anderson, I spend the majority of my time reading and learning about others' experiences with cancer.
Since March is Colon Cancer Awareness Month, I have been tirelessly researching colon cancer facts and prevention methods.
Last night as I was having dinner with my family I learned my grandmother had colon cancer and her son, my father who is over 50 (sorry dad), has never had a colonoscopy.
"How could you not do this?" I asked, completely shocked and outraged at this information. "How could someone with a history of this devastating disease not get routine checkups?" My mother admitted that she has bugged him on many occasions to get it done. But he, like many people, never visits a doctor unless his arm is falling off. My dad's main argument for not getting a colonoscopy was the fasting that is required in preparation for the procedure. He could not fathom the idea of going without food for a day, even if it might save his life.
Well, guess what? I am not letting him get away with this any longer. As we sat at the dinner table, I pulled up the MD Anderson colon cancer webpage and beat him silly with the hard facts about the disease he was at high risk of developing.
I also told him about the new virtual colonoscopy that I learned about in an article that I edited just a week before. This procedure makes it far less invasive and unappealing.
I was fresh on the colonoscopy train, and was going to do anything and everything in my power to get him on there with me.
"Dad, don't you want to live to see your grandchildren?" I said, as he tried to change the subject. "I am going to call, e-mail, and text you every day until you get it done. This is completely unacceptable!"
Do you know someone who is due for a colonoscopy? Don't let them put off this procedure any longer. Take action. Schedule an appointment. Save a life.
Since this post was written, my dad scheduled a colonoscopy with Gottumukkala S. Raju, M.D., professor in the Department of Gastroenterology, Hepat,& Nutr at MD Anderson.
MD Anderson Resources:
Colon Cancer Screening Exams
Q&A: Focus on Virtual Colonoscopy