March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. It is a topic near and dear to me having lost my maternal grandfather and and maternal great aunt to colon cancer. Early detection through prevention and screening is proven to dramatically reduce fatalities from colorectal cancer.
New guidelines from the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) state that all average-risk people aged 45 and above should begin screening for colorectal cancer. Lowering the recommended screening age from 50 to 45 will impact more than 20 million people between the ages of 45 and 49 years old. These guidelines will save lives with earlier screening.
The Affordable Care Act requires almost all private health insurance plans to cover USPSTF-recommended screening at no cost to patients. Unfortunately, many plans don’t have to comply until 2023.
Colorectal Cancer statistics:
- 1 in 23 men will develop colon cancer in their lifetime.
- 1 in 25 women will develop colon cancer in their lifetime.
- Colon cancer is the 3rd most commonly diagnosed cancer in men and women combined in the US.
- Colon cancer is the 2nd leading cause of cancer death in men and women combined in the US, only exceeded by lung cancer.
- In 2022 an estimated 151,030 people will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer.
- In 2022 an estimated 52,580 people will die from colorectal cancer.
- Young onset colorectal cancer is on the rise, with rates for people under 50 increasing 2.2% each year since 2007.
- African Americans are 20% more likely to be diagnosed with colorectal cancer and 40% more likely to die of colorectal cancer.
Everyone worries about the prep being awful. Miralax has revolutionized the prep, if you will, at least in terms of taste. No more awful Go-Lytly (and what a misnomer, you don’t “go lightly”). You still have to drink several quarts of fluids, but it can be water or add a clear flavoring. And yes you still spend lots of time on the toilet, but hey, now that we have portable streaming devices, you can catch up on all those missed episodes of “Game Of Thrones” while on the throne! And this past colonoscopy, I used a prep called Sutab. It’s tablet based, and you just drink plain water. It was very tolerable, even better than the Miralax prep.
Katie Couric’s Colorectal Cancer Awareness Efforts
Katie Couric, world renowned American journalist, tragically lost her husband Jay to colorectal cancer in 1998, at the young age of 42. She has since become a spokeswoman for colon cancer awareness. She underwent colonoscopy on the air in March 2000.
Her continued efforts have inspired others to get screened as well, with data documenting an increase in the rate of colonoscopy associated with her efforts.
Further information on the importance of colorectal cancer screening is presented here by from my former work institution, Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center.
The Walk to End Colon Cancer
To raise awareness and charitable contributions toward this worthy cause, consider being part of The Walk to End Colon Cancer, a family friendly, hope-filled fundraising event in 15 cities open to all ages. It includes a 5k walk and 1-mile turnaround to make it inclusive for all abilities. It’s a chance for anyone who’s been affected by colorectal cancer to come find strength and support, collectively.
Today’s support for early detection and research means more tomorrows with loved ones. Register, fundraise and join a nation of allies that are committed to seeing the end to colorectal cancer in our lifetime. Start a team, join a team, or walk as an individual – because tomorrow can’t wait.
Register for a walk near you, here.
For more fundraising tips click here.
For more helpful resources and guides click here.
For more information on Colorectal Cancer and Screening
Bottoms Up! – Colonoscopy Spotify Music Playlist
And on to the music. While in the waiting room, awaiting my date with an endoscope, I had the eureka moment of why not make a “colonoscopy” playlist, as I have made over 200 playlists already with various themes.
see my Spotify profile:
I imagined the playlist featuring songs related to the clean out, being hungry, being scoped, and being relieved it’s over, all to bring a lighthearted humor to a task almost no one finds funny. But I think you’ll agree, this playlist, when considering the theme it is relating to is, well, pretty humorous. Not to mention just packed with great songs. Below are some great videos of a variety of eras and genres that are worth a view, but if you want to skip straight to the music, you can access the playlist here:
And now for some great music videos of songs on the playlist for those interested:
The Moody Blues, before they headed down their psychedelic mood music path, sounding like mainstream 60s rock with “Go Now” (Miralax will make you do that) 🚽
And classic 70s fare from The Doobie Brothers with “It Keeps You Runnin’” (again, that Miralax) 🏃
And if Miralax doesn’t work, maybe Jackson Browne will help you get “The Load Out”💩. But maybe by doing so, and getting your colonoscopy, you’ll be able to “stay just a little bit longer…”
Whitesnake must have been early adopters of colonoscopy cleanouts as they proudly proclaim “Here I Go Again” 💩💩💩
And well, Lynyrd Skynyrd couldn’t miss what was going on, with “That Smell”👃💩
And even Trolls got in on the act with “Can’t Stop The Feeling!” 😈
And Creedence Clearwater Revival must have been GI docs, seeing that “Bad Moon Rising”😂
Or maybe it was Men At Work doing GI work “Down Under”
And Bill Withers knew that scope goes where there “Ain’t No Sunshine”☀️
But Poison tried to make the best of it with “Nothing But A Good Time”!
And is this really how the Beach Boys felt “Good Vibrations”?
And 5th Dimension knew where that scope was going, “Up Up And Away”🤪
And I’m glad U2 wasn’t my GI doc, as they “Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” 🤔. Though on second thought perhaps they’re just the GI doc we want, finding no polyps or cancer.
And The Beatles when having their scoping just might have yelled “Help!” 🤣
But the Pretenders (and Kinks) took a no sympathy approach, just “Stop Your Sobbing” 😭 and get that colonoscopy done!
But the Pet Shop Boys wanted to know “What Have I Done To Deserve This”? 🤷♀️
And Fats Domino weighed in “Ain’t That A Shame”! 😩
And Queen lamented “Who Wants To Live Forever,” though the answer is most of us, well not forever, but at least a little longer, so get that colonoscopy! And if you haven’t seen it, give the movie “Highlander” a watch – a cult classic, with Sean Connery and Christopher Lambert. And among Freddy Mercury’s best with Queen one of the best pairings of movie and song.
And Howard Jones tried to look on the bright side, despite being scared, not stopping or faltering, so get that colonoscopy done and over with, as “Things Can Only Get Better”
Treating today as though it was
The last, the final show
Get to 60 and feel no regret
It may take a little time
A lonely path, an uphill climb
Success or failure will not alter it
And do you feel scared? I do
But I won’t stop and falter
And if we threw it all away
Things can only get better
And in the end 😂, when all is said and done, we can get, as Gene Autry did, “Back In The Saddle Again” 🐎
For those who missed the playlist link above, I’ve included it here as well. Wishing you an easy colonoscopy for those who looking for, as Poison sings, “nothing but a good time.” This music should assist in achieving a more enjoyable time, if not during your procedure, which you don’t remember anyway, due to the wonderful anesthesia, then at least before and after the procedure, and anytime, for that matter. You don’t need to be scoped to enjoy the music!
I hope that this music and my blog truly serve as a “revival: a new presentation of something old,” a springboard to return to the music of your youth, or perhaps to find artists you want to discover anew. Rediscover the passion of music in your life.
Live in the moment.
Enjoy the moment.
Love the moment.
Listen to the MUSIC!