Colon Cancer and WESS Pre-Med Club

Colon cancer is an interesting paradox: although it is one of the deadliest cancers in existence, it is one of the most preventable if caught early. Dr. Mark Pochapin, Director, Division of Gastroenterology at NYU Langone Health, presented to the Pre-Med Club about the importance of screening for colon cancer; as a result, the Pre-Med club decided to begin their campaign for colon cancer awareness within the WESS community and beyond.

As stated in the NYU Langone slideshow, Dr. Pochapin emphasizes the fact that screening for colon cancer should begin even before you feel symptoms, as a sign of such symptoms can result in dangerous or even fatal consequences. Additionally, Dr. Pochapin cites the important motto: “The concept of health and wellbeing begins without symptoms”. The only plausible way to make sure that the amount of colon cancer deaths annually decreases is by spreading awareness of how critical and life-saving it can be to start screening early on. The Pre-Med Club is launching a campaign against colon cancer; their campaign wants to ensure that students at WESS encourage their parents and family members to get screened.

Screening is painless and simple; Dr. Pochapin is quick to note that it can even be done from the comfort of your home. A common at-home option for people to take is a FIT test (fecal immunochemical test), where one sends a stool sample to a lab to be analyzed. Still, a typical colonoscopy procedure is more common because it is more consistent in identifying colon cancer and polyps are easily removed during the procedure.

 “About one in three adults aged 50 to 75 years have not been tested for colorectal cancer as recommended by the United States Preventive Services Task Force” (CDC, 2013). This glaring statistic demonstrates the preventable deaths of thousands of adults from colon cancer. Taking action is incredibly important for the health and wellness of the WESS community and families. Students can take initiative by talking to their families about testing options, and preventing possible danger. 

This year, the Pre-Med club aspires to educate the WESS community on colon cancer. Colon cancer is extremely preventable and treatable, however, a common assumption is that screening is limited to colonoscopies. In some cases, FIT tests present a more affordable and accessible solution over a routine colonoscopy. Pre-Med Club’s colon cancer awareness campaign strives to alleviate the uneasiness surrounding screening. The Pre-med club highly encourages education on colon cancer, as well as considering a screening option that best suits your guardian today!