Colon cancer has claimed another life. She won an Emmy Award and a Golden Globe Award for Her, and Kirsty, best known for her roles in the TV sitcoms Cheers and Veronica’s Closet, died Monday. At age 71, after battling “recently discovered” cancer, According to family statement.
A rep for Alley confirmed in an email to CNN on Tuesday that she was diagnosed with colon cancer before she died.
Colorectal cancer, According to the National Cancer Institute’s Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results Program, cancer, including colon and rectal cancer, will be the second leading cause of cancer death in 2022, behind lung and bronchial cancers. Thing.
Regular screening is the best way to keep colon cancer at bay, according to the US Preventive Services Task Force. Last year, the task force lowered the age at which colon and rectal cancer screening began to 45, following a surge in colorectal cancer cases in people under 50.
The new recommendations apply to everyone between the ages of 45 and 45. This includes people who are asymptomatic, have no previous diagnosis, have no family history of colon or rectal disease, and have no personal history of polyps. These are all major risk factors. Polyps are bumps or small mushroom-like stems that grow in the colon or rectum.
If these growth If not detected and removed, it can become cancerous.
Adults between the ages of 76 and 85 can also be screened, depending on their overall health, previous screening history, and personal preferences, according to the task force.
Screening for colorectal cancer can be done in several ways, including a simple mail-in test that looks for blood or cancer cells in a stool sample taken from the patient. However, according to the American Cancer Society, all stool tests can give false-positive test results, and more invasive tests may be needed to rule out cancer.
Stool test: A stool test is the least invasive option but should be done at least once a year. Said. Anti-inflammatory pain relievers cannot be taken for 7 days before a stool test, but red meat such as beef, lamb, and liver, and citrus fruits and vitamin C supplements should be avoided for at least 3 days.
According to ACS, even if the test reveals any concerns, “a colonoscopy will be required to confirm if you have cancer.” However, hidden bleeding in the stool does not automatically indicate cancer, as ulcers, hemorrhoids, and other conditions can also cause rectal bleeding.
DNA stool test: A DNA stool test is another option, according to the association. Colorectal cancer cells can carry DNA mutations, so this test can screen for these genetic abnormalities. This test he only needs to do once every three years, but he must collect and mail a sample of the entire stool.
Patients may have insurance coverage issues because the test is fairly new, according to ACS. Again, even if something suspicious is found, a colonoscopy will be required.
All of the following tests require the colon to be clean and free of stool, which requires home bowel preparation. Methods of emptying the bowel include taking pills, laxatives, and using an enema the night before the procedure.
this process It’s gotten a lot easier over the years with the advent of newer kits that don’t require as much liquid laxatives. So talk to your doctor about your options.
Colonoscopy: One of the most widely used tests, this test allows doctors to access the entire length of the colon and rectum using a colonoscope. This is the ACS, “a flexible lighted tube about the size of a finger with a small video camera at the tip.” Said.
Typically, the patient is under light sedation throughout the procedure and wakes up knowing nothing about the process. With real-time video of the endoscope moving through the intestine, the doctor can stop and insert a small instrument into the endoscope to take a sample or remove a suspected polyp.
Virtual colonoscopy: This exam uses a computer program that makes x-rays and computed tomography (CT) scans to create three-dimensional pictures of the inside of the colon and rectum.
The examination does not require sedation. However, it requires the same bowel preparation as a regular colonoscopy.after the patient When you drink a contrast medium, a small flexible tube is inserted into your rectum and then pumped with air to enlarge your rectum and colon for a better picture.
As with all CT scans, the procedure exposes patients to a small amount of radiation, which can cause convulsions until air is forced out of the body, the association says. Even if a suspicious mass is detected, a colonoscopy is required to remove the mass.
Flexible sigmoidoscopy: In this test, the same flexible camera tube is inserted into the lower part of the colon. However, the tube is only 2 feet (60 cm) long, so the test only examines the entire rectum and less than half of the colon. Polpy in the upper colon is missed. The test is not widely used in the United States, the association said.
Many people avoid colonoscopies in part because of preparation. So, as a way to encourage people to get screened, former “Today” host Katie Couric broadcast her entire procedure in 2000. As it unfolded.
“I have a fairly small colon,” Couric said with a sleepy grin as he watched the video projected from the scope inside the colon. “You haven’t put your scope in yet, have you?” Her husband, Jay Monahan, died of colon cancer in 1998, at age 42.
“Yes! We’re doing tests. We’re almost done,” her doctor said. Dr. Kenneth Forde, who has taught for nearly 40 years at the Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University in New York City.
Most recently, actors Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney videoed part of a colonoscopy, raising public awareness after Reynolds lost a bet.
“Rob and I turned 45 this year,” Reynolds said in the video. “And you know, part of being this age is getting a colonoscopy. It’s a simple step that can literally save your life.”
Doctors discovered that both actors had polyps that were removed during screening.
“It’s not every day that you can raise awareness about something that’s sure to save lives. That’s enough motivation for me to push you on camera,” Reynolds said.
read more: Get inspired by our weekly roundups for living simply and healthily. Sign up for CNN’s Life, But Better newsletter for information and tools designed to improve your health.