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Free colorectal risk assessments to be offered at the Wellness Center

By Staff | Mar 12, 2011

The Regional Cancer Center will provide a free colorectal risk assessment at the Wellness Center of Cape Coral on March 16 from 1:30-4 p.m. to mark National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month.
Laurie Wise, colorectal and prostate nurse navigator, for the Regional Cancer Center said the risk assessment is a filter to see if individuals should have a followup done with their physician to have a screening done.
“I want to make sure that people don’t come to this thinking they will have a screening done,” Wise said.
A form will be passed out to those who attend to ask a few health related questions. It will touch upon an individual’s history of cancer, their families history of cancer, unexplained weight loss, history of polyps or inflammatory bowel disease, change in bowel habits and blood in stool.
She explained that she wants to educate the public about the risk factors of colorectal cancer and talk about some of the things that should lead them to having a screening done.
Although doctors recommended individuals to start having screenings at the age of 50, fewer than 50 percent of the population takes part. If there is a positive family history of colorectal cancer in an individual’s immediate family, the recommended screening age begins at 40.
Some of the risk factors include unexplained weight loss, change in bowel movements, size and caliber of stools, bleeding or cramping.
She said it is important to have a colonoscopy done because doctors can remove any polyps, which takes away the risk of it turning into cancer.
Wise said it is about paying attention to your body and knowing to have something evaluated when something suspicious is going on. She said colorectal cancer is hard to detect because people do not like talking about their bowel movements.
The screening, Wise said, is not painful because the medication used puts individuals into a twilight sleep and you don’t know what happens.
“The procedure itself is not painful at all,” she said.
The first Get Your Rear in Gear 5k Run/Walk, a fund raiser, will be held on March 26 at 8 a.m. at the Hammond Stadium, 14100 Six Mile Cypress Pkwy. Tickets are $25 for adults and $15 for 17-year-olds and younger. For more information visit www.getyourrearingear.com.
Wise said the money raised will stay in Lee County to support education and screening.
For more information call (239) 573-4800.