Colon cancer is being diagnosed more frequently in younger people. It’s now recommended that most people get a screening colonoscopy at the age of 45. For people who have a family history of colon cancer, the first screening should be when they are 10 years younger than the family member was when they were diagnosed.
My guest is my husband, Michael Tresca, who recently had a screening colonoscopy after turning 50. He details his experiences in using a newer prep and how he managed the process.
If there is a person in your life that is due for their screening, I hope you’ll share this with them. And if you’re someone who is involved in administering screening colonoscopies, I hope you’ll listen to get an unfiltered perspective.
A search of my computer shows that I’ve written on the topic of diarrhea several times already. It’s a recurring theme every few years, usually after a news event.
The latest circumstance, as I write this, is an incident that occurred on a flight between Atlanta and Barcelona in early September 2023. Reportedly, a passenger had diarrhea that was concerning enough to be considered a biohazard. According to CNN and other sources, the flight turned around after a few hours and went back to Atlanta. (CNN)
There’s one question that I’ve been asked many times, and it’s one that I also ask others when I conduct interviews:
“What advice would you give to people who are newly diagnosed with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis?”
I see the importance of getting both new and veteran patients to give their experience with a new diagnosis of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). It might be fair to say that most people, in hindsight, whether this is weeks or decades later, can point out where their journey could have been improved.
Caitlin McGinnis, LCSW was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis at the age of 22 and had her entire colon removed. This experience prompted her to become a social worker and specialize in providing mental health support for patients with various digestive health issues. Through her own experiences and connecting with support groups, Caitlin has learned the importance of creating communities, bringing awareness, and being a source of support for those going through similar struggles. She strives to provide her patients with the support she did not have when she was diagnosed.
Do you worry that inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) will get in the way of finding a romantic partner? Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis can make dating challenging but they can also simplify it. It becomes clear pretty quickly if a potential partner is going to struggle to cope with chronic illness. This episode focuses on communication, as Amber and her husband, Mike, discuss how he reacted to his first introduction to ulcerative colitis and why it’s important to check in with your partner before discussing IBD outside of the relationship. After more than 20 years, they finally put an incident of miscommunication to bed, and Mike gives his tips on being a supportive partner.
Patient advocacy groups often take part in “Day on the Hill” events. This is when an organization sends a group of people to Washington DC to meet with the offices of federal representatives. I’ve attended several hill day events over the past several years with different patient advocacy groups. At this point, I’m ready to let you know some of my tips and tricks so that when you’re ready to get started and do this work, you’ll be prepared.
We tend to think of politics as being for adults. But how do adults become engaged citizens who take part in their community? They start as children, learning from parents about the importance and benefit of volunteering, voting, and understanding the challenges and opportunities in their community. There’s so much that parents can do to raise children to be active community members. In addition, some of the many skills that are learned along the way, include public speaking, networking, teamwork, strategy, and communication. Continue reading →
This year I attended the annual “Day on the Hill” with the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation (the Foundation) in Washington, DC. It’s a two-day advocacy event where people who have been touched by inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), either as patients, caregivers, or healthcare professionals, meet with legislators and/or their staff.
That’s the postcard version: but let’s break this down so it makes more sense.
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