Let's change gears here�An important forum on colon cancer and colonoscopy was held last night (May 10) at the George Price Center. The turnout wasn't impressive but the information which would normally cost a consultation fee was freely offered. Dr. Mark Musa outlined the importance of getting a test done to ensure colon health.

Dr. Mark Musa
The genetics of colon cancer isn't well understood, but it is felt that you have the shedding of the lining of your colon every few weeks and you have genes that are called tumor suppresser genes and tumor promoting genes. And if you develop a change for example, in one of you suppresser genes, which are keeping the normal development and repairing of your colon, then have no control of that multiplying of the cells in your colon and it goes haywire. No diet or anything like that can account for a twenty year old developing such, it is changes in that person's genetics.

A question was posed by a health nutritionist regarding colon cleansing practices.

Dr. Mark Musa
If you wash out the colon, you will reform stool and toxins within, so I am not a big believer in purging. If you have a normal bowel habit, then that is normal for you; if you are someone who travels with chronic constipation, I will prefer that you increase your fiber in your diet, increase your water intake and increase your activity. Taking the bowel cleanser has some risk to it, because in an elderly person who might be on a water pedal, you can lose a lot of salt and things like that and you can become unwell from it. There are certain medications you have to stop before you take a purge and I don't think there is any evidence that doing colonic irrigation or taking regular enigmas help; it is temporary.

In regard to telltale signs to look for in one's fecal waste Dr. Musa responded accordingly.

Dr. Mark Musa
Either you see the blood or it is picked up on the stool testing. If you notice change in your bowel habit and how many times you are going - if you used to go once a day in the morning and then it becomes very erratic and you go three four times a day, or if you develop constipation even though your diet hasn't changes at all or if you notice a change in the caliber of the stool. The form of people's stool is quite varied; some people pass semi-solid stool in little pieces and other people might pass a long snake as Belizeans would say; whatever is normal for you and if you are comfortable going to the toilet, then that is normal for you. If you notice a change then that is significant.

Viewers are reminded of the cancer walk being held tomorrow morning (May 12) start at 5:30am from the Camalote Community Center.