Stay Ahead of Your Behind

June 27, 2018

When people check their health, they often do not think of their behind. According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States for men and women. The good news is that there are things you can do to significantly lower your risk of getting colorectal cancer. Studies suggest that having a healthy diet and exercise routine, drinking less alcohol, and avoiding tobacco can help lower your risk of getting colorectal cancer.

Although a healthy lifestyle can lower your risk of getting colorectal cancer, it is still important to get screened regularly. Getting screened can prevent colorectal cancer or find early forms of cancer that can be treated.  It is important to get screened on a regular basis starting at age 50. 

Although signs may not be present in the early stages, keep an eye out for any of the following symptoms:

  • Diarrhea 
  • Constipation
  • Feeling as if your bowel does not empty completely
  • Blood in your stool
  • Stools that are narrower than usual
  • Frequent gas pains or cramps, feeling full, or bloated
  • Weight loss for an unknown reason
  • Nausea or vomiting

If you regularly experience these symptoms and would like to get a screening for colorectal cancer, contact AltaMed to request a FIT kit.* A FIT kit allows you to complete your screening in the comfort of your home. 

Put your health first and call us at (888) 499-9303 to speak with us today!  

 

*Must be at least 50 years old.

 

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Don't Sweat the Prep of a Colorectal Exam

March 06, 2018

March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, and there’s no better time to get screened. With only one in three adults ages 50 to 75 getting screened for colorectal cancer, we want you to stay on top of your health! Your colon and rectum are important parts of your digestive system, as they help absorb water and nutrients from the foods you put in your body.

Early colorectal cancer may not show any initial symptoms, but finding and removing precancerous cells can stop colorectal cancer in its tracks before it starts. The two most common ways to get screened for colorectal cancer are through a FIT kit (stool test) or a colonoscopy:

  • FIT kit (stool test): An annual test that can easily be done at home to test your stool for blood. You can either drop off the test at AltaMed or mail it to the lab for free. This test is simple and requires no preparation such as drinking fluids or taking medication. Ask your provider for an at-home test today!
     
  • Colonoscopy: An exam that looks at your colon and rectum with a small camera to check for early signs of cancer. This must be done at a hospital or specialist’s office and should be done every 10 years, starting at the age of 50.

Why is it important to get proactive about your health?

  • Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related death in the United States.
     
  • 90 percent of new cases of colorectal cancer occur in adults age 50 or older.
     
  • It’s estimated that 1 in 20 people will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer in their lifetime.
     
  • Screening tests can often help identify colorectal cancer at an early and curable stage. When found early (stage I), 92 percent of people with colorectal cancer survive with the right treatment.
     
  • Screening tests are often covered by insurance. No insurance? You may be able to get screened at a low cost.

Put your health first and call us at (888) 499-9303 to schedule an appointment with your provider today! If you’ve recently had an exam, schedule some time with us to discuss your results and individual risk factors.

Early Detection: Your Secret Weapon Against Cancer

June 05, 2018

This year, about 1.7 million people in the U.S. will find out they have cancer. But the good news is that cancer screenings and the right treatment will help nine out of 10 of them survive breast, cervical and colorectal cancer.

Here’s what you need to know about how health screenings can find cancer early.

One in every eight women will get breast cancer. Women 50 to 74 years old should get a breast exam, called a mammogram, every two years. A regular exam can help detect tumors and other signs of the disease that are hard to find.

Colorectal cancer is the fourth most common cancer in the U.S. Men and women between 50 and 75 years of age have the highest risk of colorectal cancer. Getting a colonoscopy every 10 years is the best way to find and treat it. You also can use an at-home FIT kit stool test, but it should be done every year.

Cervical cancer is best treated if it’s found early. If you’re a woman 21 to 64 years old, you should get a Pap screen, which tests for cervical cancer. During that exam, you can get tested for the HPV virus, which also can cause the disease.

•             You should be screened for HPV every three years if you’re between 21 and 29 years of age or if you don’t get tested for HPV during your Pap exam.

•             If you’re over 30 years of age, you should get an HPV screening and a Pap exam every five years.

Call us at (888) 499-9303 to find out which cancer screenings you need.