March is Colon Cancer Awareness Month. Be aware of your family medical history.

Did you know colon cancer is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer in the US, the second leading cause of cancer death in men and women combined, can very often have no symptoms, but if detected early has a 90% cure rate?

It’s important to be aware of your family medical history. My mom is a two time colon cancer survivor and I already have a few colonoscopies under my belt. They are really not a big deal; the prep is far worse than the actual procedure. At age 50, everyone should treat themselves to a colonoscopy (even if you don’t have family history). No one wants to talk about “that area down there”, but if more people did we would have far fewer cases of colon cancer.

Your family history should not be ignored. It’s still going to be there even if you choose to ignore it. Preventive maintenance is key. Do it for yourself and your children.

The following information provides more details on colorectal cancer symptoms and was pulled from the Colon Cancer Alliance website. This organization provided my family with phenomenal patient support/information when we needed it 15+ years ago.

” Colorectal cancer first develops with few, if any, symptoms. It is important not to wait for symptoms before talking to your doctor about getting screened. However, if symptoms are present, they may include:

* A change in your bowel habits, including diarrhea or constipation or a change in the consistency of your stool

* Feeling that your bowel does not empty completely, rectal bleeding, or finding blood (either bright red or very dark) in your stool

* Finding your stools are narrower than usual

* Persistent abdominal discomfort, such as cramps, gas, pain, or feeling full or bloated

* Losing weight with no known reason

* Weakness or fatigue

* Having nausea or vomiting

These symptoms can also be associated with many other health conditions. Only your doctor can determine why you’re having these symptoms. Usually, early cancer does not cause pain. It is important not to wait to feel pain before seeing a doctor.”

Thanks for reading this post. It is all about awareness. If you or someone you know is 50+, please ask them to make an appointment for a colonoscopy. You could be saving someone else’ life or even your own.

 

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April is Autism Awareness Month: Teach your Children about Autism

A My Brother Charlie Book Cover

Did you know 1 in 68 American children is on the autism spectrum: a ten-fold increase in prevalence in 40 years? (Source: Autism Speaks) With numbers this high, there is no doubt your son or daughter will encounter kids on the autism spectrum in school.

This year when my 1st grade daughter was Star of the Week, I decided to read the book, My Brother Charlie , written by the actress Holly Robinson Peete and her daughter Ryan Elizabeth Peete. I saw this as an opportunity to create awareness about autism for young elementary school kids. Why did Holly and her daughter  write this book? In their own words: “We offer this book as a gift to families struggling with autism and to those who have no autism in their immediate families but who have friends facing it. My Brother Charlie is a book about how special children are, and how every one of us can find value in the uniqueness of people.”

Before I started reading the book, I asked the children if they knew what autism was and I tried my best to explain it in simple words. I told them: “You can’t always tell if someone is autistic by looking at them. Children with autism usually don’t look any different than you and me so it may be hard for you to understand why they are acting in a certain way which you might think is “different”. Their brains process information differently and they may need extra help from teachers to learn and understand how to do things.” Some kids then asked questions and I clarified that everyone who is acting “differently” does not necessarily have autism. “The message is not to make fun of other kids because they are “different” and to be aware and accepting of how they are, get to know them and have patience. Everyone is special and unique just like all of you are.”

“Children are growing up in a world much more diverse than that of previous generations. If you model acceptance and understanding, not only will you raise kind, supportive individuals but they will be better prepared for their future in a world of uniquely able people.”(Source: Beyond Autism Awareness: Explaining Autism to Your Child by Jessica Watson)

March is Colon Cancer Awareness Month. Be aware of your family medical history.

Did you know colon cancer is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer in the US, the second leading cause of cancer death in men and women combined, can very often have no symptoms, but if detected early has a 90% cure rate?

It’s important to be aware of your family medical history. My mom is a two time colon cancer survivor and I already have a few colonoscopies under my belt. They are really not a big deal; the prep is far worse than the actual procedure. At age 50, everyone should treat themselves to a colonoscopy (even if you don’t have family history). No one wants to talk about “that area down there”, but if more people did we would have far fewer cases of colon cancer.

Your family history should not be ignored. It’s still going to be there even if you choose to ignore it. Preventive maintenance is key. Do it for yourself and your children.

The following information provides more details on colorectal cancer symptoms and was pulled from the Colon Cancer Alliance  website. This organization provided my family with phenomenal patient support/information when I needed it 10+ years ago.

” Colorectal cancer first develops with few, if any, symptoms. It is important not to wait for symptoms before talking to your doctor about getting screened. However, if symptoms are present, they may include:

* A change in your bowel habits, including diarrhea or constipation or a change in the consistency of your stool
*Feeling that your bowel does not empty completely, rectal bleeding, or finding blood (either bright red or very dark) in your stool
*Finding your stools are narrower than usual
*Persistent abdominal discomfort, such as cramps, gas, pain, or feeling full or bloated
*Losing weight with no known reason
*Weakness or fatigue
*Having nausea or vomiting

These symptoms can also be associated with many other health conditions. Only your doctor can determine why you’re having these symptoms. Usually, early cancer does not cause pain. It is important not to wait to feel pain before seeing a doctor.”

Thanks for reading this post. It is all about awareness. If you or someone you know is 50+, please ask them to make an appointment for a colonoscopy. You could be saving someone else’ life or even your own.