Pharmacist Becomes the Patient and Learns How to Use Eye Medications

A Real Eye Opener

Diana Jason , PharmD Candidate 2009
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville 
Prepared during Consumer Health Information Corporation Clerkship
McLean, VA

Have you ever gone to the doctor’s office and forgot half of the information you were given?

Healthcare professionals are trained to tell patients how to take their medications correctly. However, stress and anxiety levels can increase in the doctor’s office. This can make it difficult for patients to remember everything that was said. It is suggested for patients to take notes in the doctor’s office, so that they do not forget anything. Patients are also encouraged to ask questions if they do not understand.

Do as I say not As I do

As a student in my last year of pharmacy school, it is easy for me to tell patients about their medicines and what they SHOULD be doing. My whole world flipped upside down when I became the patient. I would like to share a story with you of something that happened to me recently. I learned the hard way, but I hope that patients can learn these lessons through my mistakes.

The Student Pharmacist becomes the Patient

I was at work when my right eye started hurting. I took out my contact lens. After lunch, it became red and swollen. I could not see as well, and I hurried to the nearest clinic. I was told by the nurse that I was to have an eye exam. I asked how I was supposed to have an eye exam when I can’t see! She said she would just go and get the doctor then. I anxiously waited for what seemed like forever. The doctor finally arrived. He examined my eye and told me I had a corneal abrasion from my contact lens.

He gave me a prescription for an eye ointment that contained an antibiotic for the infection as well as something for the pain. When I returned to work about 15 minutes later, I was asked what the doctor told me. I recalled that he said to wash my eyes 3-4 times per day with “ionized water” that I could pick up at the pharmacy. I also said I had a prescription for an eye ointment but could not recall how often or how to use it.   

Lessons Learned

  • When I became a patient, my anxiety level went up because I was concerned about my eye  and  vision. I was in so much pain and so anxious that I could not remember what the doctor told me. I should have been more prepared and realized that this is absolutely normal.
  • I should have asked questions when I did not understand the information I was given. I thought the doctor told me to use “ionized water” but he probably said “distilled water.” Ionized water is not even sold in a pharmacy.
  • It doesn’t matter how smart you are or what you know. When you become sick, it’s hard to focus on anything besides the pain and wanting to feel better.
  • A corneal abrasion results from cutting or scratching the thin, protective outer layer of the eye. In this case, it may have occurred from wearing the contact lens for too long.
  • I had not been taught yet how to administer eye ointments. I should have asked either the doctor or pharmacist. These are the instructions:

    1. Wash your hands with soap and water before and after using this medicine.

    2. Remove the protective cap.

    3. Tilt your head back slightly and pull your lower eyelid down with your index finger to form a pouch.

    4. Using your other hand, place the tube as near as possible to your eyelid. Do NOT touch the tip of the ointment tube to the eye because bacteria from the skin could enter the ointment tube.

    5. Squeeze the end of the tube to apply a thin layer of the ointment to the pouch made by the lower lid and the eye. A ½ inch strip of ointment usually is enough.

    6. Close the eye gently for 1-2 minutes to allow the medication to be absorbed.

    7. Replace and tighten the cap right away.

    8. Wipe off any excess ointment from your eyelids and lashes with a clean tissue.

    9. This medicine may cause blurred vision when you first put it in your eye . Do NOT drive or do anything else that might be dangerous unless you can see clearly. 

Applying the Lessons Learned

When you are feeling sick, it can be hard to remember what the doctor said. Here are some tips if you ever find yourself in a situation like mine:

  • Ask for written instructions. They will come in handy when you arrive home and cannot remember the instructions you were given.
  • Ask for patient handouts about your condition or medications.
  • Have all your prescriptions filled by one pharmacy. This is the only way your pharmacist can check to make sure all your prescription drugs do not interact with each other. You will also get to know your pharmacist better and feel comfortable asking more questions.
  • Make sure that the pharmacist explains what the medicine you are receiving is used to treat, how to take it and what side effects it may cause.
  • Bring along a family member or friend. If you miss something the doctor said, they can help you recall.

Remember that prescription medicines cannot work unless you take them correctly. Follow the above strategies and always feel free to ask your pharmacist if you have any questions. Do not be embarrassed if you forget what was said in the doctor’s office. Even student pharmacists occasionally do that.

 

© 2008 Consumer health Information Corporation. All rights reserved.

 

ALZHEIMER’s QUIZ

Alzheimer’s quiz: Diagnostic clues

Many people fret needlessly when they misplace their reading glasses or car keys — worried that this forgetfulness might be an early sign of Alzheimer’s disease.

While this type of memory loss is not related to Alzheimer’s, there are definite clues that doctors look for when diagnosing this disease.

Take our quiz to see if you can separate fact from fiction about diagnosing Alzheimer’s disease.

 http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/alzheimers/QZ00017

Losing Your Personal Bubble When Pregnant

By Mary Murry, R.N., C.N.M.

There are some interesting things that happen to you when you’re pregnant. It seems to begin as soon as people know you are pregnant.

Personal boundaries seem to melt away. You have no more personal bubble. Your belly is fair game for everyone from your great aunt May to the greeter at Wal-Mart.

I myself never had a problem with any family member giving my tummy a rub or pat. It was when people outside of the family reached for it that I cringed. I have to admit that with 9 and 10 pound babies, my tummy made a tempting target. I got very good at noticing the telltale signs; rapidly approaching, hands outstretched, the words “Oh you don’t mind …” uttered with a smile after her hands were already patting my tummy.

I would try to get my hands on it first and block the planned assault. Rarely was I successful. The little old ladies were the fastest of them all I think.

Another amazing phenomenon is the loss of discretion or sensitivity for your feelings. This takes different forms and the results are not nice. It causes people, friends, family, neighbors and complete strangers to comment on how big you are or aren’t.

They ask if you are having twins because you are so big. This loosening of tongues and sensitivities causes some people to feel free to comment on the amount of weight they think you have gained. I won’t even repeat some of the comments I have heard.

The third part to this unique experience is the one that baffles me the most. This is where all the women you know (and some you don’t) tell you all the horrible experiences they or a friend of theirs had or a relative, near or distant, had. We are so vulnerable, especially with our first baby and yet these well-meaning women strike terror into our souls with tales of 92-hour labors, epidurals that paralyzed them for 2 days, forced natural childbirth, bottoms that were never the same after episiotomies or stitches.

Let me not forget a subset of this group, the women who tell you how painful, uncomfortable and time-consuming breastfeeding is.

I, of course, have recommendations. Look at the woman talking to you. Does she have only one child? Is she still breastfeeding her 9-month-old? Don’t believe everything you hear. Take everything with a grain of salt. My strongest recommendation to everyone is don’t become one of these people. If you feel the phenomena starting to suck you in, resist! We can break the cycle.

Please share your experiences

Immunization of Children Who Travel to Other Countries.

Immunization Issues in Pediatric Travelers.

Department of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, Mayo Clinic, 200 First Street SW, Rochester, MN 55905, USA. greenwood.corryn@mayo.edu

An increasing number of children are traveling internationally. In preparation for their journeys, special attention must be given to immunizations. Providers should understand ‘routine’ vaccine schedules to ensure that pediatric travelers are up to date. Prematurely born and young children do not respond as well to some vaccines and require adjustment of timing and dosing. Vaccination of immunocompromised children requires consideration of their degree of immunodeficiency and the cause of their altered immunity. Accelerated vaccine schedules can be used when travel is imminent. Based on current scientific evidence, specific vaccine decisions can be customized related to the age, health and itinerary of individual travelers

What is Parkinson’s Disease?

Source: the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke – NINDS

Parkinson’s disease (PD) belongs to a group of conditions called motor system disorders, which are the result of the loss of dopamine-producing brain cells. The four primary symptoms of PD are tremor, or trembling in hands, arms, legs, jaw, and face; rigidity, or stiffness of the limbs and trunk; bradykinesia, or slowness of movement; and postural instability, or impaired balance and coordination. As these symptoms become more pronounced, patients may have difficulty walking, talking, or completing other simple tasks. PD usually affects people over the age of 50.  Early symptoms of PD are subtle and occur gradually.  In some people the disease progresses more quickly than in others.  As the disease progresses, the shaking, or tremor, which affects the majority of PD patients may begin to interfere with daily activities.  Other symptoms may include depression and other emotional changes; difficulty in swallowing, chewing, and speaking; urinary problems or constipation; skin problems; and sleep disruptions.  There are currently no blood or laboratory tests that have been proven to help in diagnosing sporadic PD.  Therefore the diagnosis is based on medical history and a neurological examination.  The disease can be difficult to diagnose accurately.   Doctors may sometimes request brain scans or laboratory tests in order to rule out other diseases.

 

Is there any treatment?

At present, there is no cure for PD, but a variety of medications provide dramatic relief from the symptoms.  Usually, patients are given levodopa combined with carbidopa.  Carbidopa delays the conversion of levodopa into dopamine until it reaches the brain.  Nerve cells can use levodopa to make dopamine and replenish the brain’s dwindling supply.  Although levodopa helps at least three-quarters of parkinsonian cases, not all symptoms respond equally to the drug. Bradykinesia and rigidity respond best, while tremor may be only marginally reduced. Problems with balance and other symptoms may not be alleviated at all.  Anticholinergics may help control tremor and rigidity.  Other drugs, such as bromocriptine, pramipexole, and ropinirole, mimic the role of dopamine in the brain, causing the neurons to react as they would to dopamine.  An antiviral drug, amantadine, also appears to reduce symptoms.  In May 2006, the FDA approved rasagiline to be used along with levodopa for patients with advanced PD or as a single-drug treatment for early PD. 

In some cases, surgery may be appropriate if the disease doesn’t respond to drugs. A therapy called deep brain stimulation (DBS) has now been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. In DBS, electrodes are implanted into the brain and connected to a small electrical device called a pulse generator that can be externally programmed. DBS can reduce the need for levodopa and related drugs, which in turn decreases the involuntary movements called dyskinesias that are a common side effect of levodopa. It also helps to alleviate fluctuations of symptoms and to reduce tremors, slowness of movements, and gait problems. DBS requires careful programming of the stimulator device in order to work correctly.

For more information about Parkinson’s Disease

FDA Approves 2008-2009 Flu Vaccines

 

FDA News

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 5, 2008

Media Inquiries: 
Peper Long, 301-827-6242
Consumer Inquiries: 
888-INFO-FDA

FDA Approves 2008-2009 Flu Vaccines

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) today announced that it has approved this year’s seasonal influenza vaccines that include new strains of the virus likely to cause flu in the United States during the 2008-2009 season.

The six vaccines and their manufacturers are: CSL Limited, Afluria; GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals, Fluarix; ID Biomedical Corporation of Quebec, FluLaval; MedImmune Vaccines Inc., FluMist; Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics Limited, Fluvirin; and Sanofi Pasteur Inc., Fluzone.

Approval information and specific indications can be found at http://www.fda.gov/cber/flu/flu2008.htm.

This season’s vaccines contain three strains of the influenza virus that disease experts expect to be the most likely cause of the flu in the United States.

Each season’s vaccines are modified to reflect the virus strains most likely to be circulating. The closer the match between the circulating strains and the strains in the vaccines, the better the protection.

There is always a possibility of a less than optimal match between the virus strains predicted to circulate and what virus strains end up causing the most illness. Even if the vaccines and the circulating strains are not an exact match, they will provide some protection and may reduce the severity of the illness or prevent flu-related complications.

“One of the biggest challenges in the fight against influenza is producing new vaccines every year,” said Jesse L. Goodman, M.D., M.P.H., director of FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research. “There is no other instance where new vaccines must be made every year. The approval of flu vaccines is a part of FDA’s mission to promote the health of Americans throughout the year.”

The FDA changed all three strains for this year’s influenza vaccine—an unusual occurrence, as usually only one or two strains are updated from year to year. A list of the strains included in the 2008-2009 vaccine can be found at http://www.fda.gov/cber/flu/flu2008.htm. Of note, two of the three strains recommended for the U.S. this year are now in use for the Southern Hemisphere’s 2008 influenza season, which is currently underway.

Each year, experts from the FDA, World Health Organization, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and other institutions study virus samples and patterns collected throughout the year from around the world in an effort to identify strains that may cause the most illness in the upcoming season.

Based on those forecasts and on the recommendations of its Advisory Committee, the FDA each February decides on the three strains that manufacturers should include in their vaccines for the U.S. population. The FDA makes this decision early in the year so that manufacturers have enough time to produce the new vaccines.

Vaccination remains the cornerstone of preventing influenza, a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. According to the CDC, every year an average of 5 to 20 percent of the U.S. population gets the flu, more than 200,000 are hospitalized from flu complications and there are about 36,000 flu-related deaths. Some individuals—the elderly, young children, and people with chronic medical conditions —are at higher risk for flu-related complications. Vaccination of these groups and of health care personnel is critical.

“Currently, only 40 percent of health care workers in the United States are vaccinated against influenza,” said Department of Health and Human Services’ Assistant Secretary of Health Joxel Garcia, M.D., M.B.A.

“Increasing the number of vaccinated health care personnel can be a strong front in the annual battle against the flu,” said Garcia. “Health care workers can set an example for the patients they serve as well as decrease the likelihood of contracting and transmitting the virus.”

FDA Approves Expanded Uses for Gardasil to Include Preventing Certain Vulvar and Vaginal Cancers

FDA News

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 12, 2008

Media Inquiries:
Karen Riley, 301-827-6242
Consumer Inquiries:
888-INFO-FDA

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today announced the approval of the vaccine Gardasil for the prevention of vaginal and vulvar cancer caused by Human Papillomavirus (HPV) types 16 and 18 in girls and women ages 9 to 26. These two HPV types cause 70 percent of cervical cancers, and are known to also cause some vulvar and vaginal cancers, but the percentages are not well defined.

“There is now strong evidence showing that this vaccine can help prevent vulvar and vaginal cancers due to the same viruses for which it also helps protect against cervical cancer,” said Jesse L. Goodman, M.D., M.P.H., director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research. “While vulvar and vaginal cancers are rare, the opportunity to help prevent them is potentially an important additional benefit from immunization against HPV.”

The FDA originally approved Gardasil in 2006 for girls and women ages 9 to 26 for the prevention of cervical cancer caused by HPV types 16 and 18, precancerous genital lesions caused by HPV types 6, 11, 16, and 18 and genital warts caused by HPV types 6 and 11.

HPV includes more than 100 related viruses and more than 30 types can be transmitted via sexual contact. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the United States with 6.2 million Americans becoming infected with genital HPV each year.

For most women, the body’s own defense system will clear HPV, thereby preventing serious health problems. However, some HPV types can cause abnormal cell growth in areas of the cervix, vagina, vulva, and other areas that years later may turn into cancer.

Regarding the prevention of vulvar and vaginal cancer, Gardasil’s manufacturer, Merck & Co. Inc., followed more than 15,000 participants from the original studies for about two additional years. Approximately half had received Gardasil as part of the original study—the other half did not receive Gardasil and served as a control group.

Among females who tested negative for HPV types 16 or 18 at the start of the study, Gardasil was highly effective in preventing these types of HPV-related precancerous vulvar and vaginal lesions, which are considered to be the precursors for cancer. In the control group that did not receive the vaccine, 10 individuals developed precancerous vulvar lesions and nine developed precancerous vaginal lesions, all related to HPV types 16 or 18. No one in the Gardasil group developed either kind of precancerous lesion due to HPV types 16 or 18.

There was no evidence for benefit among women found to have been previously infected, prior to immunization, with the HPV types included in the vaccine. Therefore, to receive Gardasil’s full potential for benefit, it is important to be vaccinated prior to becoming infected with the HPV strains contained in the vaccine.

Gardasil’s label has been revised to note that presently available information is insufficient to support use beyond age 26, the current FDA-approved age. Also, new information has been added showing that Gardasil does not protect against diseases caused by HPV types not contained in the vaccine.

No vaccine is 100 percent effective, and Gardasil does not protect against HPV infections that a woman may already have at the time of vaccination. Therefore, all women should get regular Pap tests, even after they have been vaccinated. Routine Pap screening remains critically important to detect precancerous changes, which would allow treatment before cancer develops.

Since the FDA approved Gardasil in 2006, the majority of reported adverse events have not been serious. The most commonly reported adverse events have included syncope (fainting), pain at the injection site, headache, nausea, and fever. Fainting is common after injections and vaccinations, especially in adolescents. Falls after fainting may sometimes cause serious injuries, such as head injuries, which can be prevented with simple steps, such as keeping the vaccinated person seated for up to 15 minutes after vaccination. This observation period is also recommended to watch for severe allergic reactions, which can occur after any immunization.

As part of the original approval, Merck committed to a safety surveillance study of 44,000 individuals in a managed care organization. The study is assessing short- and long-term safety for all of Gardasil’s approved uses.

As with all vaccines, the FDA and the CDC continue to closely monitor Gardasil’s safety. Updated safety information on Gardasil was published on July 22 and can be found at www.fda.gov/cber/safety/gardasil071408.htm.

Product approval information for Gardasil can be found at www.fda.gov/cber/products/gardasil.htm.
Merck & Co. Inc. is located in Whitehouse Station, N.J.

Wellbutrin (Bupropion HCL) and Thoughts of Suicide

Wellbutrin and other brands, whose chemical name is Bupropion Hydrochloride, have been linked to having ideas or thoughts related to suicide.

FDA ALERT [7/2005] – Suicidal Thoughts or Actions in Children and Adults

Text from FDA article:

Patients with depression or other mental illnesses often think about or attempt suicide. Closely watch anyone taking antidepressants, especially early in treatment or when the dose is changed. Patients who become irritable or anxious, or have new or increased thoughts of suicide or other changes in mood or behavior (or their care givers) should contact their healthcare professional right away.

Children

Taking antidepressants may increase suicidal thoughts and actions in about 1 out of 50 people 18 years or younger. Although bupropion is prescribed for children, FDA has not approved bupropion for use in children.

Adults

Several recent scientific publications report the possibility of an increased risk for suicidal behavior in adults who are being treated with antidepressant medications. Even before these reports became available, FDA began a complete review of all available data to determine whether there is an increased risk of suicidal thinking or behavior in adults being treated with antidepressant medications. It is expected that this review will take a year or longer to complete. In the meantime, FDA is highlighting that adults being treated with antidepressant medication, particularly those being treated for depression, should be watched closely for worsening of depression and for increased suicidal thinking or behavior.

The issues described have been addressed in product labeling. (The package insert that accompanies each bottle of the drug.)

This information reflects FDA’s preliminary analysis of data concerning this drug. FDA is considering, but has not reached a final conclusion about, this information. FDA intends to update this sheet when additional information or analyses become available.

More information is available at http://www.fda.gov/Cder/Drug/infopage/bupropion/

How I Quit Smoking After Twenty Years!




How I Quit Smoking

By Bob Diamond

I used to buy two or three packs of cigarettes every day. I smoked in elevators, in cars with the windows up and in airplanes when it was still legal. I would have a cigarette going in two or three ashtrays at once. I would re-inhale almost every puff. I would breathe a puff of smoke out slowly and breathe it back in through my nose for a second pass through my lungs. The last two knuckles on my forefinger and second finger on my right hand were stained an ugly yellowish-brown.

If I was in a bar I could have a cigarette in each hand and one burning in the ashtray on the table. I made it even worse for the people around me when I would smoke pipes and cigars while I was trying to quit cigarettes.

Until recently, my mother chain-smoked cigarettes. My father was a typical fat cigar-smoking traveling salesman. He would go through a box of fifty cigars almost every day. He would hand out one or two cigars to just about every customer or prospect that he came in contact with. He would use them as a conversation starter. He also used them as a tool for buying time while he was thinking of an answer to a tough question. He had a ritual of taking a cigar out, looking it over, rolling it in his fingers, smelling it, taking the wrapper off, smelling it again, lighting it with a flair; and then taking several prodigious puffs to get it fired up. By then he would usually have whatever answer he was looking for.

It was not unusual for someone at school or church to mention as I passed by, “Your father smokes cigars. Doesn’t he?” They could smell the cigar smoke on my clothes and on me.

I remember having empty Dutch Master cigar boxes all over the house. Anything that was worth keeping was kept in a cigar box.

When I was around fifteen years old some of my friends smoked because they thought it was cool. I had a couple of puffs now and then, but it didn’t stick. In high school I was a long-distance runner. I also played football and basketball. Smoking just wasn’t an issue.

Where I got into trouble was in college and then in Vietnam. You know the college thing — sitting around eating pizza in a local hangout and watching everyone else smoke. You bum a cigarette and the rest is history. Drinking beer requires the attendant ubiquitous cigarette. The same thing happened in Vietnam. We would sit around the barracks at night drinking beer, playing poker and smoking cigarettes.



By the time I got home from Vietnam I was a confirmed smoker. I went back to college and finished my pharmacy degree. Whenever I was in a situation where I couldn’t smoke, I wouldn’t. But I would make up for it later that night. I always ended up at the end of the day with my full quota of smokes.

After my first son was born, I quit smoking for about a year. I didn’t want to subject him to all of the crud in the cigarette smoke. I did all right until my brother-in-law came home from Vietnam also. He would come over to my house just about every night. He had a lot of things to get out of his system. He had been the door gunner on a helicopter. We would drink beer and talk about his experiences, etc. After a couple of weeks of that I bummed a cigarette. You know what that led to!

As a pharmacist I would see people every day with lung cancer, emphysema and all sorts of smoking related illnesses. It just didn’t register that I was susceptible also.

I admit that I am a control freak. I don’t like surprises. Everything has to be done at the right time and at the right place. The socks have to match the shirt. The belt and the shoes must match. You get the idea. I even tried hypnosis to quit smoking. The doctor said he couldn’t put me under because I wouldn’t relinquish control to him.

A patient of mine, who knew that I was a control freak, because she was one also, asked me why I smoked. She mentioned that she considered it to be a control issue, that the cigarettes were controlling me, not the other way around.

That did it! I looked at that little cigarette in my hand. I realized for the first time who was in charge. That damned little cigarette that wasn’t any bigger than my “pinkie” finger was running my life and ruining my health. I tore up the pack that was in my pocket, just as I had done several times before. Only, this time, I knew it was for good. All the other times that I had tried to quit I had tried to quit for other people. This time I was quitting for me. I was not going to let that little sucker run my life any more!

About twelve hours later, I realized that this was it. I struggled a little once in a while when I would walk through someone else’s puff of smoke. I realized that I missed smoking, but I was not going to let it take over again. That was twenty-five years ago. The smell of cigarettes actually makes me sick now. I even choke when someone smokes next to me outdoors. I don’t complain, because I used to do that to other people.

If you are a smoker, who do you think is in charge, you or your cigarette?

I hope the answer to that question helps you as much as it did me. Realizing that that little cigarette was running my life helped me to end my eight-year quest to quit smoking.

I want you to be in charge!

 

My Colon (Colorectal) Cancer Screening Day!

My Colon (Colorectal) Cancer Screening Day!

I’m going in for a colonoscopy today. I don’t have any symptoms or problems that I am aware of.

My mother had colorectal cancer so I have to be careful, since it has already occurred in my family.

Colon and Rectal Cancer

Beginning at age 50, both men and women at average risk for developing colorectal cancer should use one of the screening tests below. The tests that are designed to find both early cancer and polyps are preferred if these tests are available to you and you are willing to have one of these more invasive tests. Talk to your doctor about which test is best for you.

Tests that find polyps and cancer

  • Flexible sigmoidoscopy every 5 years*
  • Colonoscopy every 10 years
  • Double contrast barium enema every 5 years*
  • CT colonography (virtual colonoscopy) every 5 years*

Tests that mainly find cancer

  • Fecal occult blood test (FOBT) every year*, **
  • Fecal immunochemical test (FIT) every year*, **
  • Stool DNA test (sDNA), interval uncertain*

*Colonoscopy should be done if test results are positive.

**For FOBT or FIT used as a screening test, the take-home multiple sample method should be used. A FOBT or FIT done during a digital rectal exam in the doctor’s office is not adequate for screening.

People should talk to their doctor about starting colorectal cancer screening earlier and/or being screened more often if they have any of the following colorectal cancer risk factors:

  • A personal history of colorectal cancer or adenomatous polyps
  • A personal history of chronic inflammatory bowel disease (Crohns disease or ulcerative colitis)
  • A strong family history of colorectal cancer or polyps (cancer or polyps in a first-degree relative [parent, sibling, or child] younger than 60 or in 2 or more first-degree relatives of any age)
  • A known family history of hereditary colorectal cancer syndromes such as familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) or hereditary non-polyposis colon cancer (HNPCC)

I hope this article, and my willingness to be screened, will help you to make the possibly life saving decision to get yourself screened soon.

I have the results of my colonoscopy. I had one non-cancerous polyp removed. That polyp could have caused cancer down the road if it had been left there.

My story has a happy ending.

Now it’s your turn to be checked.

Bob Diamond R.Ph

http://www.bobthepharmacist.com


* The American Cancer Society was the source for most of the information in this article.

http://www.cancer.org/