The American Cancer Society lowered its recommended colon cancer screening age from 50 to 45 last year. Today, young-onset colorectal cancer survivor and business leader, Scott Wilson, is leading efforts in Colorado to mandate this age reduction and require insurance companies to cover colonoscopy costs beginning at age 45. The facts are that there is an ever-increasing number of cases of colorectal cancer in younger individuals. It’s not known why.
The likelihood of someone born in 1990 developing colorectal cancer has doubled
Wilson, who heads corporate affairs at Molson Coors Brewing Company, was diagnosed with Stage IV metastatic colon cancer at 48. Treatment has included colon and liver surgeries, 40 weeks of aggressive chemotherapy, and ongoing surveillance. He serves on the national board of the Washington, D.C., based Colorectal Cancer Alliance and Never Too Young Advisory Board, and is an integral part of the Blue Hope Bash and Denver Undy RunWalk. In addition, Scott authored the photo book Through the Window—A Photographic Tale of Cancer Recovery (https://www.ccalliance.org/shop/books/through-the-window) that depicts his journey to recovery over cancer. All proceeds are donated to the Colorectal Cancer Alliance.
Scott recently presented before state legislators to garner support for a 2020 bill to reduce Colorado’s covered average risk screening age for colorectal cancer to 45, in line with American Cancer Society guidelines. The bill already has two primary sponsors. With his permission, we are pleased to share his Colorado Cancer Coalition presentation with you.
What do Beijing, Berlin, Boston, Chicago, Dubai, Gold Coast, London, NYC, Prague, and Tokyo have in common? In addition to being home to the world’s top 10 marathons, they’re home to hemorrhoids….hundreds and hundreds of hemorrhoids.
Running with hemorrhoids can be a painful experience for some. Understanding what hemorrhoids are, and why running can increase your chances of getting them can help you find a solution that won’t keep you away from the finish line.
Important message to all sneaker jocks out there: Running in itself does not cause hemorrhoids.
What are hemorrhoids? They are cushions of vascular tissue in the anal canal, and can be very painful when they flare up. There are two kinds of hemorrhoids—internal and external. Few runners are aware that around 50 percent of adults have hemorrhoid symptoms. They can hurt, bleed, itch, and oftentimes are especially irritating for athletes. Although hemorrhoids are not generally life threatening, you should still see a colon & rectal specialist if you are experiencing bleeding to rule out serious illness, such as colon cancer.
Colon Cancer is the #2 cancer killer, yet it’s preventable.
What causes runners to have hemorrhoid symptoms? Increased pressure and engorgement of hemorrhoids can be the culprit. Marathon running stresses the gastrointestinal system, and runners often experience flatulence, runners’ diarrhea, excessive sweating, and other aggravations. Let’s be clear: running does not cause hemorrhoids. However, several dynamics associated with long distance running may trigger hemorrhoid symptoms—constipation is common with marathoners who tend to skimp on water consumption. This creates hard stool that makes straining in the bathroom a problem—hard stool puts pressure on the hemorrhoids during bowel movements and inflames this tissue.
Exercise actually offers therapeutic value to hemorrhoid sufferers because it increases intestinal muscle contractions. This can help promote regular, easier bowel movements. Exercise can also help you lose weight that may be contributing to your hemorrhoid symptoms.
If hemorrhoids are forcing you to consider hanging up your running shoes, consider staying better hydrated, increasing the fiber in your diet, and sitting in a warm bath several times daily.
Make an appointment with a board certified colon & rectal surgeon if these simple remedies don’t bring relief. They may suggest a painless rubber banding procedure that takes less than 10 minutes in the office. People with severe cases of hemorrhoids should consult their doctor before jogging and running to avoid a worsened condition, such as prolapse.
Some say Napoleon Bonaparte was forced to ride side saddle because of hemorrhoids.
Most don’t know that hemorrhoids are normal, and that we have them from birth. They exist to provide anal tone and cushion the anal sphincter muscle. During bowel movements, the hemorrhoidal veins pad and protect our anal openings. It’s only when hemorrhoids become swollen—itch, hurt, and bleed—that they become a problem. The most common symptom is bright red blood—on your stool, toilet paper, or in the toilet bowl. Hemorrhoids aren’t usually life threatening and can go away. Most of the time they return, and the symptoms are often worse than before. It’s important to see your doctor to rule out conditions that have similar symptoms, such as colon cancer. That pain might be more than just your hemorrhoids.
About 89% of us will be bothered by hemorrhoids at some time in our lives. Runners, cyclists, weight lifters, construction workers, people who sit for prolonged times, people with diabetes, wheelchair bound individuals, and women who are pregnant or have given birth, are likely to suffer the irritation and pain of hemorrhoids…almost all of us are prone to hemorrhoids.
Fortunately, hemorrhoids are most often easy to treat.
Today there’s painless hemorrhoid removal that’s done in our office.
Rubber banding is a widely used, cost effective technique for eliminating internal hemorrhoids. Dr. Perryman uses a special instrument that simply fits a rubber band over the hemorrhoid tissue, which cuts off blood flow to it. About a week later it easily falls off and is eliminated during a bowel movement. The procedure itself takes less than 5 minutes.
Hemorrhoids can also be external.
External thrombosed hemorrhoids can be extremely painful. They are best examined by a proctologist or board-certified colon & rectal surgeon within the first few days symptoms appear. Symptoms often include painful swelling and a lump outside the anus. This is caused by a blood clot that forms inside the external hemorrhoid.
Dr. Perryman will carefully examine the area, and make medical determination whether to remove it through simple excision in the office. Most often this relieves pain from swelling instantly. Other recommendations may include: increasing dietary fiber, soothing sitz baths, and no straining or prolonged sitting on the toilet. Removing a thrombosed external hemorrhoid in the office only takes 10 minutes.
Tailbone pain can also be associated with hemorrhoids. That’s because muscles and bones are full of pain nerves down there. When you’re suffering from the pain of hemorrhoids, it can translate into pain and spasms throughout that area of your body. Be sure to be evaluated by a colon & rectal surgeon to be sure that nothing else is causing the pain.
Board certified colon & rectal surgeons are highly specialized and have many years of extensive training. They are experts in diagnosing and treating all problems related to the colon, rectum and anus.
Contact Dr. Lisa A. Perryman, FACS, FASCRS, board certified colon & rectal surgeon in Denver,
at (303)840-8822, or request a confidential appointment at www.ColoradoColon.com.
Pruritus Ani is Latin for “itchy anus”, and is a bothersome irritation of the skin around the anus. Numerous factors can cause anal itch, and it is treatable. Factors that can put you more at risk include dietary factors, fecal matter on underwear, diabetes, antibiotic use, skin conditions such as psoriasis and seborrhea, and excessive sweating. It could also be your hemorrhoids itching!
When you scratch, you irritate the skin even more. So, what can you do to stop the embarrassing itchy anus?
Is it what I’m eating? Sure, it may play a role with pruritus ani. Coffee, tea, energy drinks, citrus fruits, spicy food, beer, dairy products, and nuts can contribute. That’s because certain foods can make your stool irritating. Try eliminating one of these at a time for several weeks, and see if it helps.
Is it what I’m using down there? Yes, scented toilet paper, soaps and creams, and detergents can contribute to your problem. Avoid soaps to anal area, use plain white toilet paper, and keep the area dry. Check with your doctor about over-the-counter ointments and creams—the wrong one can make the itch worse!
Is my chronic diarrhea causing the itch? Good question, because stool is very irritating and a common cause of pruritus ani. Keep the area clean—plain water rinses are good—and gently wipe and dry after every bowel movement. Do not scrub, and avoid scratching as much as possible. Cool compresses can be soothing, too.
What other conditions can cause itchy anal itching? Sexually transmitted diseases, fungal and yeast infections, parasites, precancerous lesions, and tumors can be primary to your itching. That’s why it is so important to be examined and treated by a board certified colon & rectal surgeon. Don’t be embarrassed, and please don’t wait!
Contact Dr. Lisa A. Perryman, a board certified colon & rectal surgeon in Denver at (303)840-8822, or request an appointment at www.ColoradoColon.com.
9NEWS/NBC selected Colorado Colon & Rectal Specialists’ Dr. Lisa A. Perryman, FACS, FASCRS, to launch Colon Cancer Awareness Month in March 2017. It marked the return of the popular 9NEWS Buddy Check9, which highlights different types of cancer each month. March is colorectal cancer awareness month, and like breast cancer has its own special color—BLUE.
Dr. Perryman appeared on the Emmy Award-winning show Colorado & Company with 9NEWS host, Denise Plante. Colon Cancer Alliance, based in Washington, D.C., sponsored the segment below.
Colon Cancer is the Second Leading Cause of Cancer Death and Strikes 1:20 People
Dr. Perryman was also featured in this year’s colon cancer awareness public service announcement encouraging people to get screened for colon cancer. 9NEWS/NBC sent the television clips and PSA to 46 markets across America and released 1.5 million (yes, million) mobile apps throughout Colorado. The message was clear: get screened for colorectal cancer today!
Important Fact: Early Colon Cancer Usually Has No Symptoms
To learn more, please visit our colon cancer awareness page or call our office at (303) 840-8822 to schedule a consultation, colonoscopy, or to speak with our medical staff if you have questions or concerns. You may also request an appointment on our contact page.