To the Editor:
Nationally, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that one-third of people older than 50 have NOT been screened for colon cancer. The result is 140,000 unnecessary cases of colon cancer and 50,000 deaths in the United States. In our county, the percentages are higher, as is in Illinois. Here are some plausible reasons:
• Colon cancer – the second deadliest cancer – does not get coverage by community activists and media as breast cancer does
• People feel they have no symptoms
• People say it is costly
• People say it is invasive and risky.
We need community and media support.
As far symptoms – Dr.Oz at 50 had no symptom – and you see him every day on his TV show. He found one precancerous polyp. As far as cost, all insurance covers it. We are willing to offer an affordable option to those without insurance. As far as invasive and risky, most gastroenterologists are trained well. I received additional advanced training after six years of fellowship to handle very difficult cases.
So please, no excuses. Early screening may save your life.
Dr. Tarun Mullick