Your Tahoe Health: March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month |

Your Tahoe Health: March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

Consuming chicken, beef or vegetable broth is a smart food option when preparing for a colonoscopy.
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Did you know that colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States?

Early diagnosis is key to a beneficial outcome — so be proactive and begin regular screening from age 50 through age 75. The best test is the one that gets done.

So, if you’re turning 50, happy 50th birthday to you and the other 12,500 Americans who turn 50 every day. Gift yourself a visit to your gastroenterologist to discuss your colonoscopy.

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends the following testing options: a simple take home test (fecal occult blood test) every year, a sigmoidoscopy every five years, or a colonoscopy every 10 years. Talk to your doctor about which option is best for you.

During a colonoscopy, precancerous growths can be removed, and, according to the New England Journal of Medicine, cutting the risk of dying from colon cancer by 50 percent. Screening recommendations may vary based on family history and other conditions.


A colonoscopy can be associated with anxiety for many people. But once you familiarize yourself with the procedure, you may feel relieved to discover the process is quick and efficient.

You can search WebMD for great video footage of an actual colonoscopy. For most people, the fear of preparing for the colonoscopy is worse than the fear of the procedure itself.

The prep day consists of one full day of clear liquids, no solid food, and a strong laxative that keeps you close to home.

With planning, though, you can get enough calories and protein to enjoy a high-functioning day. Your brain will be alert and you will even have enough energy for a moderate workout. Support your blood sugar levels by drinking enough calories, with a bit of protein, every two hours.

Choose clear liquids without any red or purple dyes. You can increase the amount you drink based on what you need for brain function and exercise.

Consume two to four of these “meals”:

• 1 cup prepared lime, lemon, or orange Jell-O.

• 8 oz. Gatorade Recovery Beverage Post Game Drink (kiwi strawberry), or similar protein water drink.

• 2 cups chicken, beef, or vegetable broth.

• Every two hours, sip on 8-16 ounces of regular or Recovery Gatorade, apple juice or white grape juice.

• Drink water, tea, black coffee, clear carbonated beverages, and have popsicles (no red or purple) as desired.

If you eat a total of one box of prepared Jell-O, 32 oz. broth, 32 oz. Gatorade, 2 -16.9 oz. bottles of Gatorade Recovery and 16 oz. apple juice, you will have consumed 1,540 calories plus 52 grams of protein. That’s enough to keep you fueled and feeling good.


Learn how you can support your health and reduce your risk of colorectal cancer by joining us for a free presentation and light refreshments.

Dr. Gerald Schaffer, Gastroenterologist, and Betsy Taylor, RD, Dietitian with the TFHS Wellness Neighborhood, will share the benefits of screening and prevention with cooking tips and information on cancer preventative foods as part of our community health education series, Rethink Healthy, at the following presentations:

• Tuesday, March 14, 5:30 p.m. Tahoe Center for Health and Sports Performance, 10710 Donner Pass Road, Truckee.

• Tuesday, March 21, 5:30 p.m. Incline Village Community Hospital, 880 Alder Ave., Incline Village.

For more information, and to register, call 530-587-3769.

Tahoe Forest Hospital is part of the 80% by 2018 national initiative in which hundreds of organizations have committed to substantially reduce colorectal cancer as a major public health problem for those 50 and older.

These organizations are working toward a shared goal of 80% of adults aged 50 and older being regularly screened for colorectal cancer by 2018.

This article was provided by Tahoe Forest Health System. Visit to learn more.

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