Q: I just turned 50 and need my colorectal cancer screening. I do not have insurance and I cannot afford to pay cash for the procedure. Do you know of any resources? Rashid A., Dearborn
Here are a few options for you to consider: 1) Apply for a full colonoscopy at no charge to you at Southgate Surgery Center (an ambulatory surgery center that I am affiliated with). They have donated 22 procedures this year to assist people who are due for their recommended colorectal cancer screening but cannot afford it because they are uninsured and financially distressed. The program expires on March 31 and space is still available. Call them at 734-281-0100 to speak with someone about the requirements and how to apply as soon as you can. You can also download the application package directly from their website. 2) ColonoscopyAssist offers a low-cost program for people who have high deductibles or are uninsured. Reviews and information about the program are online at CheapColonoscopy.com. 3) Search for providers that offer financing for cash-pay procedures via CareCredit.com.
Q: I’ve been hearing many ads lately on the radio warning about colon cancer. How common is it? J.T., Dearborn Heights
Medical professional societies stay abreast of clinical studies and provide statistics to the public. The American Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy says, “Approximately 150,000 new cases of colorectal cancer are diagnosed every year in the U.S. and nearly 50,000 people die from the disease.” In general, it is important to know that colorectal cancer is common among senior citizens, which the ASGE also provides is approximately 80 to 90 million Americans or 25 percent of the U.S. population.
Q: I have just been diagnosed with diverticulosis and feel quite alarmed about the potential risk of it turning into diverticulitis. What are the most important preventative measures I can take? Judy F., Canton
You will be relived to learn that diverticulitis is not a common result of diverticulosis. Aging, a low-fiber diet, sedentary lifestyle, smoking and obesity are the greatest cause of diverticulitis. The most important way to prevent diverticulitis is to avoid constipation by eating a high fiber diet.
Rana Sabbagh, M.D., is board-certified in internal medicine, gastroenterology and nutrition. She is the founder of GastroCenter of Michigan and Experior Weight Loss Clinic, 23500 Park St., Suite 2B in Dearborn. Do you have a health question for Dr. Sabbagh? Submit it by email to: [email protected]
All information provided in Ask The Doctor is intended for your general knowledge. Consult with your personal doctor or pharmacist for any specific health or nutrition issues. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of information you have read in any publication.