The Parrish Nurse
Colon Cancer Awareness
MARCH is Colon Cancer Awareness Month. Colon cancer is the third most common cancer in the United States for both men and women. As with most cancers, early detection can save a life before it has a chance to spread. The 5-year survival rate when detected and treated early is about 90%. Colon or colorectal cancer usually begins in the large intestine as a polyp. Many polyps are noncancerous but some may develop into cancer. Colon cancer may not cause symptoms right away but look for:
A change in bowel habits that lasts for more than a few days
Rectal bleeding or blood in the stool
Cramping or abdominal pain
Weakness, fatigue or unintended weight loss.
Screening tests are used to detect colon cancer.
The American Cancer Society recommends completing one of four tests, depending on the advice of your primary healthcare provider. These include:
A fecal occult blood test every year, simply done at home
Cologuard, also done at home every 3 years.
Flexible sigmoidoscopy every 5 years, looking at lower one third of the bowel.
Colonoscopy every 10 years to examine the entire length of the colon’s lining. This is the most reliable screening test available.
If you haven’t been screened for a while or believe you are at risk with symptoms, contact your health care provider. The life you save may be your own.
Health & Wellness
HOW HOSPICE HELPS PATIENTS and FAMILIES
Hospice is a specialized care option for patients facing a life-limiting illness from conditions like COPD, heart disease, and dementia. When they receive hospice care early on, they experience less depression, and can improve mentally, emotionally, and physically. In fact, patients under earlier hospice care may live 25% longer due to better management of symptoms by a team of doctors, nurses, aides, volunteers, social workers, grief counselors, and chaplains united around one special person... their patient.
Choosing hospice benefits the patient and family more by the patient participating in all planning and decisions in pain and symptom management; reduced hospitalizations. Advance directives can be prepared to avoid difficult decisions later.
In addition to gaining comfort, independence and quality of life, patients and families with hospice care also receive: physical, emotional and spiritual support...
A nurse who coordinates the patients care; training needed to properly care for a loved one; medications; medical equipment such as electric beds, walkers, and wheelchairs; a nursing assistant to provide personal care such as bathing; disposable supplies such as gloves, adult briefs and wound-care kits; bereavement care and grief support.
Hospice services are provided in the comfort of your home, assisted living facility, hospital or nursing facility, and are covered by Medicare and most private insurances. Ask your doctor if or when hospice may be able to help you.