Remember my little Web MD confession? It was that one time that I thought I had breast cancer and the radiologist told me that I had lumpy mattress boobs?
I blame my family really. There are a lot of crazy genetics swirling around that could have ended up in my double helix strand of DNA. I've got to watch my back.
My grandmother had colon cancer when she was 32. This was before they did chemo, so instead of chemo it seems like they removed just about any organs that they could that were anywhere near her colon. She had just had her 4th child a few months before.
Here's the part that I love: My grandmother's mother told her that she needed to be sure to get some photos taken for her obituary in case she died. So my grandmother went to the photo booth and took a few snaps. Which is pretty hard core if you ask me!
Well, my sweet grandmother, "GG", is still around and kicking it today. She's one tough cookie. She even had polio when she was a little girl. Ultimately, they caught the cancer in time, and it never game back.
I always told myself that when I was 32, I would take the plunge and get a colonoscopy just to be safe. And well, you know, because colonoscopies are so much fun!
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To be honest, it really wasn't so bad. My doctor with a nice Italian accent sang me to sleep with that one Michael Jackson drug (Propofol) and I woke up shortly thereafter feeling like I had the best little nap ever. Done. (I'm not going to lie though, the prepping for the colonoscopy is another story and requires you to stick close to the facilities for about a day).
And guess what? They found a polyp. And those are the little things, that left unchecked, can grow into colon cancer. They removed it on the spot (no need for another procedure), and sent it off for pathology. It was benign.
I did a little more looking at my family history and found out that I'm actually at elevated risk for colon cancer. My grandmother had it, her sister had it, and my aunt had pre-cancerous polyps that she caught early. She was in her early thirties when she found them because she had scheduled a routine colonoscopy based on my grandmother's health history.
I never knew that anyone in my family besides my grandmother had any connection to colon cancer until I asked. I mean . . . it's not like you sit around after Sunday dinner talking about your colon. But maybe you should.
Want to know if you are at risk? Take the hereditary cancer quiz and find out. Based on my family history, my doctor advised me to take the genetic test to see if I had a certain gene mutation for colon cancer. That genetic test is in process somewhere and the results should be making their way back to me in about a week.
I'll be back with my results, and more details on how the genetic test works. In the mean time, schedule your colonoscopy if you all ready know you need to. Not sure? Get to know your family history, and tell your spouse to do the same. I mean, how much do you know about your in-laws colons? Time to find out!
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