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Colon Cancer is Preventable with a Colonoscopy

Linda (Kaywood) Bilyeu is a self-published author. Her books are available on Amazon. She writes from the heart—there is no other way.

A Colonoscopy Could Save Your Life

I was recently told a story of a mother and daughter who both passed away from Colon Cancer, one week apart.

Yes, one week apart. The news left me devastated and frustrated.

Colon Cancer is one of the most curable, preventable cancers, yet it continues to kill.

If everyone would just get a simple procedure known as a colonoscopy we could win this war. Yes, I said simple because it is!

You might have heard all types of stories, but it just takes a little bit of common sense to realize that YOU could save your own life.

I hope I could convince you to make that one phone call that could help save a life.

Whether it be your life or that of a loved one. We could all use a bit of a nudge or some coaxing in order to make the first move.

So, go ahead and do it. Make that phone call.

The most influential person you talk to on a daily basis is you...listen to YOU.


Family History of Colon Cancer

I have a family history of Colon Cancer. My maternal grandmother and my mother both lost their lives to this dreaded disease. My brother is battling polyps and has repeated colonoscopies. Colon Cancer is highly genetic. If you have a family member who had it chances are you are at high risk.

The test is not something we look forward to, but it's called preventive medicine for a reason. In addition I'd rather have the procedure than the alternative. I must admit I do enjoy the anesthesia, that stuff is miracle in itself.

Each year medical science amazes us with how much easier this procedure gets. It's literally a piece of cake and when your screening is over, you get to eat cake to celebrate the courageous you!

I've heard stories about back in the day when patients were awake during the procedure and it was very uncomfortable, it's not like that anymore. I've been told stories about the prep work being horrible and the liquid having a gross taste.

Times have changed, depending on your physician we are now able to just swallow a pill and drink lots of water. I've heard complaints about spending too much time in the bathroom and not being able to eat solid foods the day before. So what!

If you think about it your bowels are receiving a much needed cleansing! In addition no one has ever died from not eating solids for one day BUT they have died from Colon Cancer. It happens more frequently than necessary!


Colon Cancer is Preventable

As an advocate for Colon Cancer I've heard many excuses about WHY people haven't had their test yet. Some of the responses can't be repeated due to inappropriate terminology but I will keep my answers as clean as possible:

1- The gastroenterologist has seen PLENTY of backsides and yours is no different.

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2- It's better to have a scope inserted in your colon than have to wear a colostomy bag. Trust me on this one, I have witnesses to testify for this!

3- If there is a polyp found it will be removed and biopsied, you won't feel a thing!

4- There is no easier way to effectively be checked for Colon Cancer. I don't see one in the near future SO stop making excuses and get 'er done!

There is a virtual colonoscopy in which you still need to prep and you aren't sedated. The downside to this test is if a suspicious area is noticed it can't be removed and you'll need a colonoscopy regardless and have to do the prep all over again. In addition your colon is still inflated with air and you will need to lay still while going through the CT scanner. This doesn't sound very enticing to me! I'd rather be taking a little nap and woken up when it's all done.

There are signs and symptoms of Colon Cancer but unless you are aware of them they serve no purpose. Rectal bleeding is one, but that symptom can be from many other issues not as serious. Bloating and excessive gas is another but than again those symptoms are common with other ailments. Extreme weight loss is another sign but here again that could be from many things. I was told that irregular shaped stool (flat on one side) is another sign due to a tumor or polyp blocking the passageway. Your doctor is the best person to judge any issues you have. Never be too embarrassed to ask questions. There are no silly questions. Wouldn't you rather be discussing your follow up appointment in 10 years then when chemo treatments will begin?

Everyone male and female should have their first colonoscopy procedure performed at age 50. If all is well then you won't need another test for 10 years.

If there is a family history of Colon Cancer then you should begin sooner. For example my mother's colon cancer began at age 55. So according to the recommended guidelines, I should have had my baseline colonoscopy 10 years before her cancer began. Which is age 45 for me. Which is exactly when I had my baseline. So if your family member was diagnosed over age 60, your doctor might suggest you start your baseline at a different age.

This is just the basic guidelines. Don't procrastinate any longer, if you fall into one of these groups please get tested. If this message helps save one life I've done my part but I hope this article helps in at least planting a seed in many of your heads. Keep in mind the old adage ... It's better to be safe than sorry!

Possible Signs of Colon Cancer

  • Change in bowel movements.
  • Rectal bleeding.
  • Unexplained weight loss.
  • Abdominal discomfort.
  • Fatigue.
  • Feeling of incomplete evacuation of the bowel.

UPDATE: Perfect Results

I had my second colonoscopy performed on Sept. 9th, 2011.
Prep: Good Procedure: Painless and enjoyed my 15 minutes snooze Results: Perfect colon!

My prep for this procedure was different then the prep I used three years ago.
On Sept 7th after dinner I drank a 10oz bottle of Magnesium Citrate Oral Solution which is sold at any drug or grocery store. Mine was lemon flavored so it tasted like a salty lemon. Yuck. Once I poured it over ice it was easier to drink. It went to work almost immediately.
On Sept 8th I was allowed a small breakfast and then a liquid only diet until after the procedure. The prep today was OSMOPREP pills. 32 of them. At 1:00 I consumed 4 pills with a glass of water every 15 minutes until 2:00. Went to work immediately. Continue with liquids ALL DAY. At 6:00 I consumed the remaining 12 pills.
On Sept 9th at 8:00am I was coming out of twilight and received the news that I was good to go for another 3-5 years. I was ELATED and HUNGRY!

When possible try to get the first appointment of the day for your test. The later your appointment is the longer you have to wait for the patients before you. My gastroenterologist is fantastic! He's always early and doesn't spend time on the phone or Internet between patients like some do. My appt. was at 7:30am, I arrived at 6:30am and was out of the surgery center at 8:15am. If you are in the Orlando area I highly recommend my doctor so feel free to contact me.

Disclaimer: This was MY prep for my procedure. Always follow your doctors instructions! The test is truly a breeze. It's worth the inconvenience. Good luck with your test!!!

Prep for Third Colonoscopy

Miralax Colonoscopy Prep

Miralax Colonoscopy Prep

Miralax/Dulcolax/Gatorade Colonoscopy Prep

On October 15, 2014 I had my third colonoscopy. This time around it was a bit of a challenge for me. I decided to try another doctor who was closer to home and performed the procedure at our local hospital. One of the challenges was, I was not allowed to eat any solids the day before. I was used to having a light breakfast. The second challenge was she doesn't begin procedures until 9:30am and I was fourth in line. One last challenge is I can not drink, even water, after midnight. Going 36 hours without solid food and 12 hours without water is indeed quite a challenge. I know realize I was a bit pampered with my last doctor, but due to family obligations I had to do what I had to do.

The prep was a breeze! I always thought I disliked Gatorade so I was dreading drinking it, but I liked it. Maybe it was the Miralax being added to it or my tastes changed, I'm not sure, but the drink was pleasant. The Dulcolax pills are tiny and helped move things along. I was cleaned out in a matter of hours. I started my prep at 10:30am, since I couldn't eat, why wait until the specified 3:00pm. I had some tea, diet coke, chicken broth, lemon italian ices, water and I attempted Jello, just not a fan. I had another perfect prep. My doc was pleased.

The procedure went smoothly. Two polyps were found, snipped and sent off for a biopsy. Kind of scary that in just 3 years, two polyps could appear and the recommended guideline for a colonoscopy is not every 10 years. Not for this girl. I'm sticking to my every 3 years schedule. Also, for the record, I'm a fan of Propofol...I enjoy my nap. If only the hospital would allow me to stay longer and finish my nap instead of rushing me out of the building :)

Dr. Teresa deBeche Adams

Are you age 40 or over with a Family history? Are you age 50 or more?

The Colonoscopy Song

© 2011 Linda Bilyeu

Comments are welcome....

Sangam Krishnamoorthy Ramamoorthy from India on May 18, 2018:

My paternal uncle suffered and survived from colon cancer. He was treated in India. Our family does not have a cancer history. But my uncle was treated for this deadly cancer. He was cured with radio therapy. My sister survived from leukaemia. I have donated stem cells to her. With all healthy habits why these two suffered from Cancer. I have an article published on hub pages about my experience on donating stem cells to my sister on hubpages.

Your article is good enough with all information on colon cancer. An article for patients and families.

Linda Bilyeu (author) from Orlando, FL on October 17, 2014:

Good to know you are keeping up with your procedures, Mary...just like all cancers, colon cancer is just as sneaky, but also very preventable with a screening. Keep up the good work!

Mary Craig from New York on October 17, 2014:

This is a timely hub whenever it is posted or read. My father died of colon cancer. He never had a colonoscopy and thought he had hemmorrhoids. Subsequenlty, he had one reversible surgery and the second one he had the bag permanently. Since I am adopted I never worried about colon cancer until I got Celiac. I have had many colonoscopies and many polyps.

Your advice, as always, is the best!

Voted up, useful, awesome, interesting, and shared.

Dianna Mendez on October 16, 2014:

This is a good article covering the procedures for this important test. Sharing your experience makes it seem a bit more tolerable. Great message for all readers.

Linda Bilyeu (author) from Orlando, FL on April 24, 2014:

Good for you Nell, doctors make mistakes...not sure how he knows that "you don't need one," even though you do have IBS. You'll do great! Keep us posted. Good luck!

Nell Rose from England on April 23, 2014:

Thanks Linda, yes its the drink that I am not looking forward too! lol! mind you its my own fault, the doc said I didn't need one as its only IBS but I insisted, its best to find out myself!

Linda Bilyeu (author) from Orlando, FL on March 14, 2014:

Hi Lisa...Something for you to look forward to when you turn 50!

Linda Bilyeu (author) from Orlando, FL on March 14, 2014:

Hi Mary...Good to hear your daughter passed her colonoscopy test! :)

Linda Bilyeu (author) from Orlando, FL on March 14, 2014:

I agree Pam, the liquid used to be not so tasty. Times have changed and the prep drinks are not as bad as they once were. That's great to hear about your mom. Wishing her continued good health.

Lisa VanVorst from New Jersey on March 14, 2014:

Very informative hub. I am not 50 and have no history. When I turn 50 this is one test I will make sure I have.

Mary Hyatt from Florida on March 14, 2014:

My 50 year old daughter just had a colonoscopy just last week. Everything was OK, but I feel better cause she had one done. The prep was always very hard for me to do in the past, but I've had them done.

Voted Up, etc.etc.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on March 14, 2014:

I am so glad to know the prep has changed. I hated drinking all that liquie. Your hub is definitely a life-saving hub for those that following your instructions. My grandmother died of colon cancer when I was a baby, but my mother has had no problem at 90. I believe in this preventative procedure also and you explained everything very well.

Nithya Venkat from Dubai on March 13, 2014:

Great life saving hub, came back to read again,voted up. Informative and useful.

Linda Bilyeu (author) from Orlando, FL on March 13, 2014:

Way to go Dianna. A colonoscopy isn't as bad as everyone seems to think. It's fast and painless, plus you get a good nap :)

Dianna Mendez on March 13, 2014:

As you say, it is a simple procedure and it saves lives. Glad you brought this to our awareness. I've had mine and it put my mind at ease, so worth the trip to the doctor.

Linda Bilyeu (author) from Orlando, FL on April 26, 2013:

Vellur, Prettynutjob, Jimmy...Amen and I agree with all your thoughts. Just get 'er done.

Jim Laughlin from Connecticut on April 26, 2013:

I had my first last year. I WAS SO NERVOUS! Freaking out! After it was done, I laughed at how quick and easy it was. Get'er done!

Mary from From the land of Chocolate Chips,and all other things sweet. on April 26, 2013:

Great hub, voted up, more and shared, the best way to beat cancer is to catch it before it gets too bad.

Nithya Venkat from Dubai on April 26, 2013:

Thank you for sharing this life saving information. The preparation for colonoscopy is tough, the procedure is OK. Whatever maybe one should undergo colonoscopy, specially if they have polyps, as you have mentioned. Great hub, useful and informative. Voted up.

Linda Bilyeu (author) from Orlando, FL on April 24, 2013:

Mary, Pinto, Michelle, Torri ... Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

torrilynn on March 11, 2013:

Hi Sunshine,

I think that it is important to get procedures done to make sure

that you are cancer free or god forbid do have cancer that you can

get it treated right away. thanks for this hub and for sharing the right information.

Voted up and shared.

Michelle Liew from Singapore on March 11, 2013:

I have a great aunt with Colon Cancer, who has, through God's Grace survived it and is doing well. Thanks for this share, which I will pass to her.

Subhas from New Delhi, India on March 11, 2013:

Being from the medical field, I perfectly understand the importance and effectiveness of your thoughts and if transformed into deeds, will definitely save so many lives. Great hub!

Mary Hyatt from Florida on March 11, 2013:

You have given readers lots of good information here. I have a colonoscopy every three years. The prep may be better now, I was miserable. After taking the liquid prep (can't remember the name), I sat on the John for the next 12 hours non stop. The procedure itself was nothing, just the prep was hard on my body!

Voted Up and shared.

conradofontanilla from Philippines on March 11, 2013:

There is a new cure for cancer, gene therapy. However, it is still in the development stage. The theory is already here and the procedure done on mice. I have a Hub on this topic.

Native production of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) is small and its product, nitric oxide (NO), is unspecific in getting to target. So production of iNOS must be induced and delivery made specific. The gene that controls iNOS of man is cloned, the gene of carrier is cloned, and the gene of antibody that makes delivery specific is also cloned. These genes are sewed up together resulting in recombinant DNA. The recombinant is administered like vaccine. Once the iNOS gene is inside the cancer cell, it will produce NO that kills cancer cells.

Nell Rose from England on March 11, 2013:

Hi Linda, its really odd but over here in England we never get letters for a checkup for this, we have all the other reminders, but this one is something that is never discussed, great information, and well worth spending just a couple of hours doing, nell

Linda Bilyeu (author) from Orlando, FL on March 11, 2013:

March is Colon Cancer Awareness Month. If you've been contemplating scheduling your is a good time.

conradofontanilla from Philippines on December 18, 2012:

Both chemo and radiation kill healthy cells but differently. Chemo produces free radicals, like singlet oxygen, that kills cancer and healthy cells. Radiation excites electrons in the inner orbital of an atom, like nitrogen or phosphorus; the excited electron moves out of its orbital and the original nitrogen is no longer nitrogen; meaning the cell is injured resulting in death. Radiation like X-ray is high energy that moves an electron; that is what excite means.

conradofontanilla from Philippines on December 18, 2012:


Once more, because I missed to say that chemotherapy is scheduled far apart to allow blood cells to replace those damaged in one session. Chemo kills healthy red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. It is essential that a fellow being given chemo has a high blood count. I have two Hubs on colon cancer: "How heritable colon cancer develops from polyp (benign tumor)," and "Even without an inherited polyp a person can develop colon cancer." I also discuss controls of colon cancer. Don't wait for colonoscopy because when you go for it some adenomas might have advanced that colonoscopy is unable to remove and surgery might be necessary. Colon cancer can be prevented. Its forerunner, the polyp, must undergo 5 to 7 more mutations in genes of the same cell to develop into cancer. That's unlike heritable breast cancer that is controlled by the gene BRCA1. One of its alleles is mutated and is inherited. One more mutation, in the normal allele, in the same cell will make the progress to breast cancer.

KellyGirl might have an inherited colon cancer that is of two forms. I discuss one form in my first Hub.

Linda Bilyeu (author) from Orlando, FL on December 18, 2012:

Hi Kelly, I'm sorry you lost your mom to CC. I'm impressed how at age 25 you've decided to become proactive with your screenings. Way to go! The procedure is a piece of cake. I'm sure you'll be fine. I hope other young people are inspired by your message. I'm still pushing friends in their 30's and 40's who have a family history to be screened, they continue to come up with excuses. I'll continue to push them. Keep us posted on your progress. Thank you again for sharing!

KellyGirl2387 on December 17, 2012:

Hello, sunshine:

Thank you so much for writing this. I lost my mama to colorectal cancer in September -- she was diagnosed in May 2010 at 59 years old.

I scheduled a physical two weeks after my mom passed. That changed everything for me and I decided, being as young as I am (25), I'm going to take care of myself, have annual physicals and blood work and do whatever I can to be cancer free. Well, my internist is a rockstar. Ordered a colonoscopy for me, even though she said she's jumping the gun -- she'd rather be aggressive because my mom's cancer was aggressive and diagnosed stage 3 and she'd also like a baseline for me, since I'll have several colonoscopies throughout my life. So, January 4 I go in for my first colonoscopy at age 25. I'm pretty nervous about it, mostly because I'd like a clean bill of health, but I've heard the procedure is nothing. Plus, if they were to find something, it would most likely be polyps at the earliest stages! So, thank you for writing this. I hope to report back with the all clear for the next 3-5 years.

Linda Bilyeu (author) from Orlando, FL on September 20, 2012:

Wow Deb, we are on another journey together. We are the smart ones who get 'er done. It's truly a piece of cake to have a colonoscopy. I've never had an endoscopy, but I have a couple of friends who get both done at the same time. Just like you said might as well get 'em both over with. Wishing you success on each of your tests! :)

Deborah Freed from Virginia Mountains on September 20, 2012:

I am right there with you sista! My brother had colon/rectal cancer in 2004, surgery early 2005, chemo, radiation and chemo. It was August by the time all his treatments were finished. He didn't have his colonoscopy at age 50 like he should have. I am 2 years young than he and did have mine. I used the pills the first time too and drank gatorade. The second one I had I used gatorade and miralax but had to drink a GALLON. This last one was in April 2012 and I had the endoscope and colonoscopy at the same time (may as well get it all done at once!) and only had to drink 32 ounces of gatorade and the miralax and clear liquids the day before the procedure. And yes, it wasn't bad and I was glad to be knocked out and given the MJ (Michael Jackson) drug and awakened refreshed and hungry and ready to go. I do have to go back every 3-5 years because of my family history but I believe the procedure will get better and the prep will be easier. Yes, a colonoscopy is much better than a colostomy. thanks for encouraging people to do this!! Prevention is always easier than having to have treatment!!

Linda Bilyeu (author) from Orlando, FL on August 24, 2012:

Much appreciated!

Guest on August 24, 2012:

will do ;)

Linda Bilyeu (author) from Orlando, FL on August 23, 2012:

Thank you for sharing and in doing so possibly saving a few lives. Keep us posted on your progress. I need all the support I could get to convince others to just get 'er done.

Guest on August 23, 2012:

Thank you Sunshine625! I agree with you 150% and I just want others to realize how important it is. Thank you for having this site and for allowing people to share their stories in order to promote awareness!

Linda Bilyeu (author) from Orlando, FL on August 23, 2012:

Hi, I'm sorry about your loss. I salute you on at the age of 40 being pro-active and have the screening done. If you have waited you never know what that polyp would have done. The bruise is small price to pay for possibly saving yourself from colon cancer. Thank you sharing your journey.

Guest on August 23, 2012:

Hi, my dad passed away this year from colon cancer. I just turned 40 in Jan and had my first colonoscopy in June (just 3 months after he passed). Everything came out great and I feel super relieved that I did it. They took out a tiny inflammatory polyp so I couldn't have asked for better results after all the anxiety I went through. I highly recommend anyone with a family history to JUST DO IT...the prep wasn't even half as bad as the nurse not being able to get the IV in the first try. I ended up with a black and blue on my right hand and another small one on the left which is where it finally went in. Thats it and the rest you already know!

Linda Bilyeu (author) from Orlando, FL on August 21, 2012:

Thanks Dana! It's always best to be safe than sorry. I just convinced a reader who has no symptoms, but does have a family history to get 'er done. They are petrified, but needed the support. Yay!

Dana Strang from Ohio on August 03, 2012:

Nice job on this! The horror stories really need to be debunked. The prep is not that bad, you don't even remamber the procedure, and the recovery time is virtually nothing. I just went home and took a nap!

Good for you to tackle what some feel is an uncomfortable subject!

Linda Bilyeu (author) from Orlando, FL on August 03, 2012:

Thank you for sharing your scary journey with us Peter. I wish you good health also!

Peter Geekie from Sittingbourne on July 05, 2012:

Excellent article but a subject too many people just hope will go away. I very nearly died three years ago but after an ileostomy I was given my life back. I had no warning so no chance to check it out.

I wish you all good health kind regards Peter

Julz4 on June 21, 2012:

Thanks Conrad! I think I will check it out & stop hijacking this topic! ; ).

Thanks Sunshine! I hope next time I pop in it will be with good news!

conradofontanilla from Philippines on June 21, 2012:

Your oncologist should explain. Taking it in more days may allow your system to recover for the next session. Radiation affects both the cancerous cells and the healthy cells in the vicinity of cancerous cells. That is unlike immunotherapy that targets the cancer cells only and leave the healthy ones alone. Immunotherapy, interleukin-2, is being used to treat melanoma or skin cancer, according to Dr. Howard Kaufman in "The Melanoma Book."

The treatment must hit the cancerous cells during the duplication stage of chromosomes during mitosis that consists of four stages. Not all cancer cells duplicate at the same time. Some are caught duplicating at one time, other chromosomes during other times. Chromosomes of healthy and cancer cells are not vulnerable to radiation or chemotherapy during the interphase of mitosis, the resting stage.That is one if not the main purpose of phasing the treatment sessions.

In the heritable form of breast cancer, the person has one allele of her/his BRCA1 gene mutated and all his cells carry a mutated allele. However, that is not enough for breast cancer to develop. The other normal allele must be mutated as well for breast cancer to develop. That mutation is triggered by environmental factors like free radicals and x-rays. Preventive measures are meant to control the mutation of the normal BRCA1 allele. I have a Hub on breast and ovarian cancers.

Julz4 on June 21, 2012:

Well, I guess I'm toxic for another 14 years or so. I smoked as a teen for about 6 months or so. Also both my parents smoked! Much second hand smoke! Thanks for the feed back. Things you wish you would of known.

Conrad I have a ?. I'm maybe going for radiation therapy, depending on the BRCA results. I know radiation is cumulative. So does it make a difference to get it less amount of days at a higher dose as aposed to a lower dose for more days? Especially on the left side over the heart. Just looking for other opinions pros & cons. Wondering if you have any insite. Thank you!

Linda Bilyeu (author) from Orlando, FL on June 21, 2012:

Very interesting information Conrad! Thank you for sharing it.

conradofontanilla from Philippines on June 21, 2012:

The gene involved in colon cancer is different from that involved in breast cancer which is BRCA1. Both colon cancer and breast cancer have heritable forms and sporadic or environmental forms. However, a person with a heritable colon cancer may not have a heritable breast cancer. Environmental factors like free radicals and x-rays from tobacco can turn heritable forms into cancer and cause nonheritable forms of colon and breast cancer. That is why preventive measures (taking antioxidants, halt in smoking, avoiding x-rays) work for all cancers.

Tobacco contains polonium 210 and lead 210 that are radioactive that decay into lead 206 which is stable. Polonium has a half life of 138.4 days; lead 210 has a half life of 22 years. That is why even if a smoker stops now s/he will have lead 210 that decays in 44 more years to come, generating free radicals and x-rays. That is a debilitating prospect. The fact about radioactive materials in tobacco had been hidden by some scientists and the tobacco industry some 50 years ago.

Linda Bilyeu (author) from Orlando, FL on June 21, 2012:

Hi Julz! Thank you for keeping us updated. Sorry about your latest news.

Wishing you the best!

Conrad is a gem keeping us posted of latest findings.

Never give in!!

Julz4 on June 21, 2012:

Hello All it's been a year! Updating from Colon Polyp last year at this time to Breast Cancer this year! Waiting on the BRCA gene testing to come back to find out whether I go on to radiation or more surgery.

Thanks Conrad! I appreciate the info. Mine is DCISMI 2.8cm Stage 1 ER-, PR-. I going it 3 months ago. Something haywire going on in my system! As I know a lot of women are sent for a colonoscopy after a diagnosis of breast cancer.

God is dead on June 15, 2012:

Very well written and put togther, I shall definitely share it. Thank you and thumbs up (:

Linda Bilyeu (author) from Orlando, FL on May 29, 2012:

Any and all info you share Conrad is appreciated by many. We thank you!

conradofontanilla from Philippines on May 29, 2012:

Anytime. In the last sentence, I meant "The adenoma now turns into colon cancer." I have a Hub "How A Polyp Turns Into Colon Cancer; How to Treat It." Of all cancers I have come across, colon cancer "needs" several mutations more to turn into cancer which means that there is lot of chances to stop it. Heritable breast cancer needs one more mutation only to develop into cancer.

Linda Bilyeu (author) from Orlando, FL on May 29, 2012:

Thank you Conrad for your additional information. I appreciate it!

Linda Bilyeu (author) from Orlando, FL on May 29, 2012:

Thank you RTalloni, Info on Flaxseed has been added. I appreciate the thought.

conradofontanilla from Philippines on May 29, 2012:

A person with heritable colon cancer or familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) has thousands of polyps in the large intestine; each polyp contains an APC/apc gene, the allele APC having been mutated. APC/apc is a notation in genetics that shows the two alleles of a gene with the same function of controlling polyp/cancer, where APC is dominant. Five or more mutations in one polyp occur for polyp to turn into cancer. This one polyp has a kras proto-oncogene that turns into kras-oncogone when one of its alleles is mutated. Kras-oncogone turns the polyp into adenoma, "an intermediate tumor with fingerlike projections" (Cummings, M. Human Heredity, Principles and Issues. 2009:293-296). Other genes are mutated in sequence: gene DCC with both alleles mutated; gene DC4 with both alleles mutated; gene DPCA with both alleles mutated; and gene V18-1 with both alleles mutated. The last to mutate is p53 gene, a suppressor gene, that controls the growth of polyp. Switched on, it stops growth; switched off, the adenoma grows uncontrolled. When p53 gene had been disabled, the adenoma would divide into two adenomas; two adenomas would divide into four polyps, and so forth and so on until the cell matrix is breached and metastasis proceeds. The adenoma nor turns into colon cancer.

RTalloni on May 29, 2012:

A great piece that should be helpful to many people. A sign of a good hub is that it generates a good discussion. Good job here on a difficult subject!

Linda Bilyeu (author) from Orlando, FL on February 07, 2012:

Hi KDF, I so understand. My siblings and I also get checked every 3-5 years. It's a simple procedure and I also would rather have a colonoscopy then have dental work done. I'd have a test every year if need be. Thank you for your comment, it could save someone's life!

Linda Bilyeu (author) from Orlando, FL on February 07, 2012:

Hi Express, How sad that a 28 yr old lost her life to colon cancer. Who would suspected someone so young to be a victim, but it's further proof how important it is to be aware of the warning signs. Thank you for your comment.

Linda Bilyeu (author) from Orlando, FL on February 07, 2012:

Tammy, I'm wishing your family member good luck with his treatment. Thank you for sharing.

Alecia, As always I agree!

H C Palting from East Coast on February 06, 2012:

Very useful hub. I know of a very young woman who was only 28 and she died of colon cancer. While this is more rare than those who are older, this is an important procedure and we all have to pay attention to our bodies at every age. Thanks.

Alecia Murphy from Wilmington, North Carolina on February 06, 2012:

This is great information and as always cancer stinks!

Tammy from North Carolina on February 06, 2012:

Thank you so much for sharing this information. As you know, colon cancer has recently touched my family. This procedure can save many from a very difficult and painful disease. Great information!

Linda Bilyeu (author) from Orlando, FL on February 06, 2012:

You are correct alocsin. The procedure is recommended, but many people don't follow the doctors orders.

Aurelio Locsin from Orange County, CA on February 06, 2012:

I believe a colon check is part of every physical after a particular age. At least my doctor has been doing that to me regularly. Voting this Up and Useful.

Linda Bilyeu (author) from Orlando, FL on February 03, 2012:

Whenever polyps are found it's usually wise to have the procedure done again within 1-3 years. It all depends on what your doctor suggests. I have friends who need to go every 6 months to every 3 years. I hope this info helps and doesn't confuse Calico.

calico Stark from Earth for the time being on February 03, 2012:

This was very informative. I had the procedure done in 2004. They found some polyps and removed them. They never told me whether they were cancerous or not. I wonder if I should get checked again? I am 44 years old now.

Linda Bilyeu (author) from Orlando, FL on November 21, 2011:

Thank you all for your useful comments!

fitnesszone from New York on November 21, 2011:

This is what we call an extremely useful hub! Wakeup call for many.

nadejda13 on November 21, 2011:

In my research with Catalytic Therapy of cancer I use few colon cancer's cells lines and found that they have very good response for this kind of therapy. ( learn more about catalytic therapy from my hub there are links to my publication on this subject in scientific journals as well).

nomadicasian on November 18, 2011:

Bad eating habit is also the culprit of getting the disease like red meat, raw cow's meat or popularly known as beef steak with blood still dripping out of it and other foods that causes colon cancer. The best thing is that we have vegetables and fruits to rely on.Great hub Ms. Sunshine.

Linda Bilyeu (author) from Orlando, FL on November 18, 2011:

Hi Sue, That's great news about your dad! Good for you also, are you going every 3 years due to the strong family history? If not you should! The reason I am sharing this hub today is because a good friend of mine (age 43) with no family history is going through grueling chemo treatments and additional surgeries due to infections after she was diagnosed with Stage 3 colon cancer last year. She's hanging tough. Good luck with your test! Keep us posted!

Susan Zutautas from Ontario, Canada on November 18, 2011:

Excellent hub! My Dad had a colonoscopy done years ago and they found polyps but once they operated they found no cancer. Because of this my doctor scheduled me to go and see about having a colonoscopy, done which was before they put you under. I went to the specialist and when he told me that I'd be awake for the procedure I cancelled the colonoscopy. Then five years later I finally went and had one done. By this time it was standard procedure to put you under a local anesthetic. All turned out fine but I guess its about time again to go for another one.Yuck!

Linda Bilyeu (author) from Orlando, FL on November 18, 2011:

Men over 40 need a PSA blood test each year for Prostate Cancer.

Men and women over 50 need a colonoscopy ever 5 years unless there is a family history or symptoms before age 50. Good luck:))

Wesman Todd Shaw from Kaufman, Texas on November 18, 2011:

Isn't that the recommendation? Seems like I read that for - men over 50 or something.

I'm years away from 40 still, so I'll not get into a hurry for those things!

Linda Bilyeu (author) from Orlando, FL on November 18, 2011:

No big deal Wesman ... you'll do just fine. Yearly?

Wesman Todd Shaw from Kaufman, Texas on November 18, 2011:

Not much looking forward to yearly colonoscopy days.....but their coming, it seems. :-0

Linda Bilyeu (author) from Orlando, FL on November 06, 2011:

Thank you for the info Conrad.

conradofontanilla from Philippines on November 05, 2011:


I am revising this line: "A nonheritable colon cancer can start by a sporadic mutation of one copy of APC that moves out of the cell of origin and starts polyps in the large intestines" to:

In a person who did not inherit a mutated APC -- his normal gene is attacked by sporadic or environmental factors that cause a mutation in gene APC. This one cell with the mutated APC escapes p53 gene, the suppressor gene, and completes the cycle of mitosis. The one cell now becomes two to form a polyp.Once this polyp sustains 5 to 7 mutations more in other genes (gene k-ras in chromosome 12; DCC in chromosome 18; DC4 in chromosome 18; DCPA in chromosome 18; V18-1 in chromosome 18; p53 gene in chromosome 17)it graduates into a colon cancer.

conradofontanilla from Philippines on November 04, 2011:


One heritable pathway to colon cancer is familial adenomatous polyposis. A mutation in one allele of the gene adenomatosis polyposis coli (APC) can start cancer development. Five to 7 mutations more in genes of one cell of a carrier of APC initiates cancer. Less than 5 mutations does not initiate cancer; a carrier of APC can spend a lifetime without contracting cancer, unless.... So I go for prevention of the 5 to 7 more mutations inasmuch as mutation in APC is heritable. Mutation is caused by spontaneous factors that are involved during meiosis and by sporadic or environmental factors like free radicals and X-rays. Tobacco or smoking provide them both. Colon cancer can develop even in early age of one with FAP. So having colonoscopy in 3 to five years is a long time that by then colon cancer might have advanced. A nonheritable colon cancer can start by a sporadic mutation of one copy of APC that moves out of the cell of origin and starts polyps in the large intestines. Five to 7 more mutations in genes of one cell initiates colon cancer. So for a noncarrier of mutated APC, prevention is the best course which can be done with enhancement of the built-in body antioxidants (superoxide dismutase, glutathione peroxidase, catalase) and antioxidant supplements, diet, halt in smoking or not smoking and inhaling stream smoke, exercise, etc. The same preventive measures hold true for carriers of mutated APC. These also hold true for prostate cancer, although there is a need for more selenium for prostate cancer prevention.

Linda Bilyeu (author) from Orlando, FL on September 12, 2011:

Hi Frank, This is a wake up call for men and women over 40. A PSA test for Prostate Cancer is a wake up call for men over 40. Thank you for stopping by :)

Frank Atanacio from Shelton on September 12, 2011:

a very good share and a wake up call for most men over 40 Good job Sunshine :)

Linda Bilyeu (author) from Orlando, FL on September 12, 2011:

Hi Manthy, Well your doctor has a good sense of humor! Sorry he freaked you out! I actually joked with my anesthesiologist right before the procedure asking if Conrad Murray (MJ's doc) was anywhere in the building, he said his shift didn't start until 1:00! LOL I enjoyed my propofol!!! Kudos to you for having your procedure over and done with!

Linda Bilyeu (author) from Orlando, FL on September 12, 2011:

Age 39, how very sad. My friend who was diagnosed recently at Stage3 is only 43, it's been a rough 6 months for her. Best of luck to your friend Deb, I hope this hub can offer her some pointers on what to expect. Thank you for sharing!

Mark from Alabama,USA on September 12, 2011:

Yeah I had one of those last year, spent a week worrying about it because I asked the Doctor what he was going to put me to sleep with and he said you know that stuff that killed Michael Jackson...LOL

anyway it was all good.

Thanks for the hub

Deborah Neyens from Iowa on September 12, 2011:

Such an important message, Sunshine. My friend's bother, age 39, was just diagnosed with advanced colon cancer and his prognosis is grim. My friend will be having her first colonoscopy ASAP.

Linda Bilyeu (author) from Orlando, FL on September 02, 2011:

Thank you, my friend :)

adeaugustus on September 02, 2011:

Goodluck! sunshine.

Linda Bilyeu (author) from Orlando, FL on September 02, 2011:

Hi adeaugustus! I'm looking forward to your hub on CC. The more of us who get the word out the better our chances of possibly saving someone's life. My test is in one week. Fun!

adeaugustus on September 02, 2011:

Believe me, i was thinking about publishing something about colon cancer this week. This one is great. Thanks for sharing.

Linda Bilyeu (author) from Orlando, FL on July 01, 2011:

Good for you Alicia for being diligent with your health. Thank you for stopping by and sharing your experience with CC. We all should thankfulfor colonoscopies instead of fearful or embarrased by them. Wishing you good luck :)

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on July 01, 2011:

Voted up and useful. Thanks for a very important hub. A close relative on each side of my family died of colon cancer, so I am very aware of the genetic risk that I might develop it too. I’ve had one colonoscopy and will make sure that I get another one after a five year interval. The colonoscopy experience wasn't bad at all, and as you say, you are sedated during the procedure.

Linda Bilyeu (author) from Orlando, FL on June 09, 2011:

Amen Susie!!!! I'm happy to hear that! Just get 'er done and ease your mind. Good luck!! :)

SUSIE405 from Delray Beach, Florida on June 09, 2011:

This is making me feel guilty. I really have to take care of this.

Linda Bilyeu (author) from Orlando, FL on June 08, 2011:

Fucsia and Ge you are more than welcome!!

Ge you are especially welcome for the reminder! I hope your screening goes smoothly with no issues :)

geegee77 from The Lone Star State!! on June 08, 2011:

Thanks for reminding me sunshine I had one done almost four years ago, and had two polyps removed so the doc said to go about every 3 yrs after that, so Im calling my dr to schedule it asap. Great hub & info:) ge

fucsia on June 08, 2011:

Thank you for the informative Hub. The prevention is the most important thing, also through an healthy diet, but in case of familiarity this test is absolutely necessary.

Linda Bilyeu (author) from Orlando, FL on June 07, 2011:

Hooray for you 2besure! Don't forget your follow-up!!! :)

Pamela Lipscomb from Charlotte, North Carolina on June 07, 2011:

Thanks for sending out the warning. The procedure is not painful at all and I was sedated. They woke me up to show me the nodules they found. I am so glad I got my colonoscopy a few years back. The two non-cancerous nodules were removed right there!

Linda Bilyeu (author) from Orlando, FL on June 07, 2011:

Yay for you Fay!!! I'm looking out for my peeps :-) Good luck!

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