Colon screening can be a lifesaver
Colorectal cancer is the third-leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States. In 2012 in Indiana, more than 3,200 people were diagnosed, and more than 1,100 Hoosiers died. Colorectal cancer affects both sexes and people of all ethnic backgrounds. Fear of a simple test is responsible for a lot of those deaths.
Most colon cancers begin as polyps, mushroom-like, abnormal-cell growths in the colon lining. It takes two to five years for a very small polyp to become an advanced polyp, and another two to five years for it to become an early cancer. However, fewer than 10 percent of polyps will become cancerous.
Several tests can screen for polyps and colorectal cancer. These include stool testing for blood, barium enema, flexible sigmoidoscopy, CT colonography (virtual colonoscopy) and colonoscopy. Colonoscopy is considered the most effective because it not only detects colon cancer with high accuracy, it allows polyps to be removed and later examined. Thus, colonoscopy may even prevent cancer.
The worst part is getting the colon cleansed beforehand. Although some people have difficulty with the prep, most tolerate it well. The test is performed with the patient either under sedation or light anesthesia. The examination generally lasts about 20 minutes. Afterward, there is a short recovery period, then patients are discharged home to rest. The next day, most patients resume normal activities. Medicare and most commercial insurance plans cover screening colonoscopy.
March is colon cancer awareness month. If you or a loved one is at least age 50, or age 40 with a family history of colon cancer, get screened. Don’t let fear stop you.
DR. ANDREW KATZ Fort Wayne
Buy no ‘Made in China’ on April 20
I ask everyone in the Fort Wayne area to take one day (preferably April 20) and not buy anything made in China.
Showing our support for America is a good thing. We need to get back to our old standards.
IRIETA COLEMAN Fort Wayne
Faithless America a nation in decline
What has happened to America? For that matter, what has happened to us as Americans?
Have greed and power done a number on us? There has always been dishonesty and corruption in every walk of life but more so in our government today than ever before. How can we look at other governments and call them corrupt when ours keeps getting bigger and more controlling?
Some of our elected officials have enough backbone to speak out, but others just sit there looking like they are just along for the ride. Our Constitution and our laws are being trampled upon, and that’s sad. We once knew respect.
Every crime on the books has exploded beyond belief; the most disgusting is child trafficking for sex. I heard on the news one night that some were as young as 2 years old. Why must our children and babies pay for our moral decline? We once knew values and morals.
We’re not the great melting pot anymore. We’re more like a great cesspool. It’s no wonder that other countries look at us and call us The Great Satan. We once knew pride.
My son says that it’s a whole new world and that I should try and get used to it. No thanks. Too much darkness.
I’m going to renew my faith, get my Bible, get down on my knees and beg for forgiveness and pray. I’m going to pray like I’ve never prayed before. We once knew God.
God help us all.
MARGIE WHITAKER Fort Wayne
Sex offenders can never pay for crimes
This is in response to the letter published Feb. 26 from Aaron Smith regarding sex offenders paying $50 a year to register their address.
If the person convicted of being a sex offender can’t find a job, is forced to provide their address and is destitute, I say good for them. They made their bed.
I’m so sorry I can’t feel sorry for someone who has raped or physically abused another human being, usually women or children.
You say they have paid their debt to society. Really?
The people they have hurt suffer a lifetime sentence from being abused – through no fault of their own.
The sex offenders need to take responsibility for their actions and make amends. Most won’t do that; they will offend again.
They took someone’s childhood or security from them. In my opinion, $50 a year is a small price to pay toward the situation.
TONIA LORENTZ Fort Wayne