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Patient Education Project

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Patient Education Project

The digestive system is a very complex but efficient system that allows the intake and disposal of material that allows the body to perform routine daily activities. The digestive system allows the intake of food and water to be broken down to be used for energy. The digestive system is made up of the mouth, esophagus, stomach, small and large intestines, colon and the rectum. A Potential life-threatening disease of the digestive system is color-rectal cancer.

Color-rectal cancer is a developing polyp or tumor of the lining of the digestive tract. This particular type of cancer is usually 90% curable if detected early.

Color-rectal cancer is the 2nd leading cause of U.S. cancer deaths each year. There are 150,000 newly diagnosed patients each year and an average of 60,000 deaths associated with color-rectal cancer per year (2006). Patient education is very important to prevent many unnecessary deaths related to colon cancer.

Patient's at risk for developing colon cancer:

* Family history of colon cancer

* History of diverticulitis

* Obesity

* Age (patient's over 50)

* Diet high in red meat

* Men have higher incidence

* African American

* Smoking

* Alcohol abuse

* Diabetes

Color-rectal cancer is a dangerous disease because many of the symptoms associated

go undetected for years. Polyps of the digestive system can take 5-15 years to develop into cancer (Monahan & neighbors, 1998) it is very important to recognize the signs and symptoms related to colon cancer.

Signs and Symptoms related to colon cancer:

* Rectal bleeding

* Weakness

* Fatigue

* Vomiting

* Diarrhea

* Constipation

Routine tests and examinations for patients

* Colonoscopy (Age 50)

* Fecal occult blood test (Every year starting at age 50)

* Sigmoidoscopy (Every 5 years after age 50)

* Routine Primary care physician physicals (yearly)

The colon is the final staging area for digestion and the third most common site for cancer in Americans. Yet we could see 75% fewer cases with positive lifestyle habits (Smoots, 2003)

What can you do to help prevent colon cancer?

* Stop smoking

* Dietary changes: increase fiber, fruit, and vegetables

* Increase physical activity

* Moderate alcohol consumption

The primary physician during routine examination of a patient must consider if the

information presented is



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