Six months ago I wrote a blog about my colon issues. I wanted to update this post.
I had two polyps removed from my colon five years ago and then two more six months ago. One of the polyps was huge so my gasterologist ordered me to have another colonoscopy six months later.
Six months later:
I wasn’t really concerned. I set up the appointment, drank the juice, and showed up for my colonoscopy. When I woke up I was devastated to hear the news, seven new polyps in six months had grown!!!!
What does this mean for me?
My new reality:
I have to live a more healthy life in order to try and reduce my polyp production. Thirty seven is way too young to have this problem. Polyps can turn into colon cancer so I have to be on top of this or I will get colon cancer. The doctor is doing another colonoscopy in a year. He said that I will probably have polyps. The bad thing is that the one thing that matters most, genetics, is out of my control. Because I am so young and fairly, genetics is what is causing me to have polyps. I have no control over this.
Does this mean I should just do whatever and accept my fate?
No. By having a healthy diet, eating more vegetables, and exercising, I can help reduce my polyp production.
Polyps are produced in your colon. What you eat does matter. Your colon has to work a lot harder when you eat processed foods and red meat.
I have spent countless hours worrying about this and scared of having to get my colon removed (getting a bag) and getting colon cancer and dying. I met with my gasterologist and here is what I came away from the meeting that I wanted to share with everyone.
- If you have ANY family history of colon cancer (ANY), you MUST go and have a colonoscopy (even if you are young!!!!) NOW! Call the doctor as soon as you get finished reading this! It was a fluke that I had mine at 32 and I thank God that I did. I would have for sure gotten colon cancer. Routine colon screenings start at 50. This would have probably been too late for me. Polyps don’t normally have symptoms so in many cases, people learn too late (stage four) that they have colon cancer. You CAN’T control genetics. Are there probably more 37 year olds out there with polyps? Yes…they just haven’t gotten colonoscopies to see what is in there.
- Take a low dose of aspirin every day. This was on the news yesterday. Studies have shown that this can help reduce your chance of getting colon cancer. You have to, though, be careful and talk to your doctor. Some people should not take aspirin daily for various reasons.
- Try to limit your red meat intake. I LOVE red meat. It is harder for your body to process than fish or chicken. Don’t eat more than two servings of red meat a week.
- Take daily multiple vitamins.
- Take vitamin C (this helps in preventing polyps)
- Eat more fiber! My gasterologist said that prunes are the best. He said to eat three or four a day!!! There are lots of foods that are high in fiber (corn, edamame, avocados, beans, pears, apples)
- Eat more veggies and fruits!!!! Cabbage and brussel sprouts are two of the best cancer fighting foods!
- Drink green tea when you can.
- Don’t drink a lot of alcohol (no more than 14 glasses a week…less or none is even better)
- Don’t smoke (increases your chance of polyps)
- Lose weight if your are overweight (being overweight increases your chances of polyps
I will go back in a year to have another colonoscopy. I pray that my lifestyle changes will have an impact!!!! I may have to get a colonoscopy every year (and maybe every six months when I get older) for them to remove polyps. I will happily do this if it means that I won’t get colon cancer. My doctor told me to stop stressing out so much about this. The best thing I can do is to live a healthy lifestyle and stay on top of this. If I stay on top of it, I have a better chance of beating this!
Please investigate your family history. If you have anyone in your family with a history of colon cancer, please get a colonoscopy. It is better to be safe, than to be sorry. Don’t be scared of going. The procedure is not a big deal and worth knowing what is going on.
I have two friends my age who recently got colonoscopies. One friend had a dad who had colon cancer so she went to get checked. She was good. My other friend didn’t have family history and got checked (because she has gastro issues) and she ended up having two polyps, one being pre-cancerous. Please don’t think it can’t happen to you because it can. Hopefully you will look over the tips and implement them.
My question for you is this: Who is ready to go and get a colonoscopy?