This article got posted at the Dr. Sanjay Gupta talk site
posted by Erin and I thought I would post it here cause I’m a Katie Couric fan myself. It was written by my favorite news man Dr. Sanjay Gupta
. It's from Time Magazine
It's never easy to talk to patients about getting their colon probed from the inside by a 5-ft.-long tube, but it's a lot easier than it used to be, thanks to NBC host Katie Couric
. After she lost her husband Jay Monahan, 42, to colon cancer in 1998, she launched a campaign to raise awareness of the importance of regular screenings--a campaign that may have done more than any doctor could to get people to make that crucial appointment. After Couric bravely had her colon screened on national television in 2000, researchers at the University of Michigan reported a 20% increase in the number of scheduled colonoscopies. It came to be known as the Couric effect. So when I heard the news last week about the risk of colon cancer for smokers and drinkers, one of my first calls was to Couric. A study of more than 160,000 colon-cancer patients published in the Archives of Internal Medicine found that the cancers of patients who smoked tobacco or drank alcohol were diagnosed an average of 5.2 years earlier than were those of other patients. If you smoke as well as drink, the study suggests, your cancer is likely to be diagnosed almost eight years earlier.
Those are findings that ought to get people in bars across America thinking twice about their bad habits, because the implication is that smokers and drinkers should be getting screened earlier than ever for colorectal cancer. Doctors usually recommend that patients schedule their first exam on or near their 50th birthday. If you get a colonoscopy--considered the gold standard of screenings because it allows doctors to examine the whole length of the lower intestine and snip off any precancerous polyps they find--you may not need to be screened again for 10 years. If you use one of the less definitive tests-- a flexible sigmoidoscopy, barium enema or simple stool analysis--you should get tested more frequently.
Couric was on vacation last week, but she got right back to me by e-mail. "Fear and embarrassment are major obstacles," she wrote, "but educated, well-informed people who want to have long lives should force themselves to get over those feelings. The time to be screened for colon cancer is when you are feeling well and not having symptoms."
She's right, of course. Colorectal cancer remains one of the top three causes of cancer deaths in the U.S. (after lung and breast cancer), but it doesn't have to be; 90% of cases detected early can be cured.
Meanwhile, there are plenty of steps you can take to improve your odds. Exercise is good for both your heart and your colon. You should also try to eat less red meat (which stresses the digestive system) and more vegetables, fruit and--above all--fiber. Obviously, given the news last week, you need to think about cutting back on your drinking-- and, for goodness' sake, stop smoking (or, if you've never started, keep up the good work).
Nobody, not even Couric, likes to talk about getting their backside probed, but, as she puts it, "having a colonoscopy is a heck of a lot easier than facing a diagnosis of colon cancer." > Sanjay Gupta is a neurosurgeon and CNN medical correspondent
5 years How much earlier colon cancers were diagnosed in patients who smoked or drank alcohol
8 years How much earlier such cancers were diagnosed in patients who smoked and drank alcoholAnn Stewart:
I love Katie Couric
...She has the same Birthday as me and we Capicorns are good peoples.
I'm sorry she lost her husband...I would hate to be in her shoes...I thank God my husband is 2 years younger than me and pretty healthy as far as I can tell...I'm pretty sure he'll out live me...I once told him joking of course, if he leaves me I'm going to...and if you go to heaven I'm going with you. We created 3 kids together, that's a pretty big bond.
and you know what my brother loves Katie Couric...He thinks she's the prettiest thang since pretty was invented.
Thank you for that article Dr. Gupta...I've always been a Katie Couric fan too.Scarlet Termite:
Now to post something that resembles the news.
It's incomprehensible to me that CBS would seriously want Katie, oh excuse me! According to a thread on TVSpy it's Katherine now, Couric in the anchor chair for the evening news. I mean, it's just sad. How can any thinking person believe that this woman is going to be taken seriously? Does CBS think she is going to bring the June Cleavers in to watch the evening news? Au Contraire, mon frere! When they see that there is no one else with her and she's reporting the icky-poo, boring "serious" news and not hyping some hacks' latest self-help book they are going to flip it to whatever syndicated sitcom they happen to like.
What's wrong with Bob Schieffer? I mean really? I like him alot. Great voice. Is it because he has white hair? It must be the CBS version of Jon Klein's (late of CBS) delusion of bringing in the 25-35 demographic. Apparently these people can't learn that folks in that age range don't watch the news period and certainly not at 6 pm. I think that CBS should have given Bill the chair. The ratings would go up, guaranteed. There is alot more folks that love the Bill than post on this board. They lurk it. Bill (Hemmer)
would have been perfect! He's credible, he's handsome but still boyish a la Tom Brokaw, he would appeal to Red and Blue Staters alike. He would have shone even brighter than Brokaw did when he started. He would be perfect. Absoultely perfect.
Not that I am biased or anything. *giggle*Ann Stewart:
Now I really like Katie bug...So don't be so hard on the dear little women.