A Gentler Colonoscopy Prep

Gentler Colonoscopy PrepMany people will tell you that the worst part of a colonoscopy is the prep. Preparation is critical, though, to help your doctor identify any polyps — it also helps the colonoscopy go faster. Some colonoscopy prep involves drinking up to four liters of a prep solution to help cleanse your colon. Even for someone who typically drinks a lot of fluids, that’s a large amount and you have to drink a few ounces every 15 minutes, which makes the prep almost a full-time job.

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Breast Cancer Summit 2015

Not just for breast cancer patients and survivors

On Saturday, April 18th the University of Michigan’s Comprehensive Cancer Center Breast Oncology and Community Outreach Programs (with support from the Michigan affiliate of Susan G. Komen, U-M School of Public Health, and QVC presents FFANY Shoes on Sales) will give you the opportunity to learn more breast health, the latest advances in breast cancer and learn about the resources available in the community. The Breast Cancer Summit is held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

I have attended the event in the past and was amazed by the uplifting spirit of everyone there. Breast cancer patients and breast cancer survivors have made up the majority of those who attended. However, there also were healthy, non-cancer patients at the summit who wanted to learn more about general breast health and what type of screening is recommended.

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Take a bite out of nutrition

Nutrition2In March the days are finally getting longer, which hopefully means that spring is right around the corner! March is also designated National Nutrition Month, when we recognize and promote optimal nutrition and health for all.

Often nutrition campaigns focus on diet, which many people think of as one of those four letter words. But this year, instead of focusing on what NOT to do, the focus is on trying to eat more of the foods that are “good for you.” You may be surprised how embracing this principle alone will help you make more nutritious choices overall. Continue reading

Prevention is the best “cure” for cancer: 8 things you can do to prevent cancer

cancer preventionPrevention really is the best cure for any disease. This holds true for the dreaded “C” word as well. The number one best way to prevent cancer is simple: Achieve and maintain a healthy weight. Why? Because up to one third of all cancers have a positive relationship with being overweight and obesity.

Narrowing cancer prevention down to this one goal sounds simple, but actually achieving a healthy weight can be more difficult. It is doable, if you commit to little changes at a time. Just try the following: Continue reading

Gathering your family medical history

family medical historyIt’s not uncommon for younger family members to ask where their grandparents came from, where they lived or how many children they had. Playing detective to figure out the names, locations and relationships of older relatives or distant generations can be fun. Gathering your family medical history can be interesting, too, with the added value of helping the people you love. The results might reveal a family connection to inherited conditions and diseases. Uncovering these kinds of family links can help doctors take better care of your loved ones, including recommending screenings, genetic testing, and looking for early warning signs of disease, including cancer.

Jessica Everett and Victoria Raymond, U-M genetic counselors, say that red flags concerning cancer in your family’s medical history can include:

• More than one relative with the same or related cancers
• Being younger than average when diagnosed
• Having more than one primary cancer
• Having a rare or unusual cancer

More tips:

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Advancing understanding of inherited cancer risk through collaboration: The PROMPT Registry

PROMPTInnovations in genetic testing technology over the past 5-10 years have opened up the ability to test multiple cancer risk genes at one time, at the same or lower cost than past testing for one or two individual genes. As a result, many testing laboratories now offer “next generation panel tests.” These tests allow investigation of multiple cancer risk genes with one sample, at one time, for one cost. This can be an attractive option when the family history could suggest more than one inherited syndrome – one test can evaluate for multiple syndromes. However, panel tests have also created some new challenges for patients and health care providers. Continue reading