Colon cancer is one of the most common cancers in the US and used to be one of the most deadly. But if it’s caught early, colon cancer is actually curable and the treatment is relatively easy. This test is the most involved one on the list, but the good news is that people with an average risk for colon cancer only have to do it every 10 years. Make an appointment now and be done for a decade.
Before the exam, instructions often require a special diet and laxatives to help clear out the colon; an enema may also be necessary before the procedure. This exam prerequisite is the part that most folks complain about.
At the actual test, sedating medication will ensure the patient is relaxed. Some doctors will even use general anesthesia. Then the doctor will insert an instrument called a colonocope into the colon to look for polyps, which can be the beginnings of colon cancer. They can be removed right then and there and, if necessary, tested for cancerous tissue later. The entire exam takes about 30 minutes. Drugs may cause the patient to feel groggy, but there is no physical pain.
Because colon cancer usually produces no symptoms until it’s at an advanced, and more difficult to treat stage, it is important that everyone begin testing at the age of 50 (or earlier if there’s a significant family history).
This simple blood test can say so much about a man’s overall health. Men with low testosterone levels are more prone to being overweight, having diabetes, or feeling fatigued and depressed. They are also at greater risk for osteoporosis.
Testosterone does drop with age but certain things, such as a lot of belly fat, can cause it to plummet. With it can go your sex drive and even your erectile function.
Low levels can be corrected by losing belly fat (follow a good diet and get lots of exercise). If the doctor is seriously concerned, there are prescription anti-estrogen pills, gels and injections that will block the effect of belly fat until it’s lost naturally.
There. Now that doesn’t sound so hard, does it?