This pairing could go very wrong. Oh, the odd and wonderful world of coaching. I just got off the phone with a Chicago based doctor today who is opening a new practice which will focus primarily on the detection and treatment of colon cancer. We talked about my butt. Ok not my butt but everyone’s anus, or would it be more correct to say colon rectal canal. Seriously I don’t know the politically correct terminology at this point….
My opinion was that colon cancer and pap smears and other such things are topics friends talk about in private yet not necessarily in public forum. So excuse me if this post comes out of left field. I don’t remember the last time someone asked me about an anal pap smear. Ok I do, but it was during dinner last Friday night with the same doctor so I’m not sure that counts. He wants to schedule to have a meeting later in Feb. to discuss how to get people talking about this subject. Too bad we aren’t trying to target this around Valentine’s day, just the thought makes me laugh. And really wouldn’t it be great if we could laugh at colon cancer, if we could talk about it openly. Everyone knows what a mammogram is but do we all know about anal paps, (I didn’t) and that a visual inspection of an abnormal result is NOT adequate in diagnosing cancer.
One of the topics we discussed at dinner is how the level of care in some areas of the country for treatment and diagnosis for many diseases lags behind the practices on the coasts. Colon cancer has a high correlation in individuals with HPV virus. But the word has to go out and people have to be informed.
Ok this is where we move from from the basic task and think about how to break it down to make it manageable and to think bigger than just one doctor, just one city, just one person. How do we use the tools we have? Blogs, Twitter, Facebook, this issue here for me boils down too basic education. I know if I get asked to help it might mean business but the reality is how do we add to the discussion in a way that benefits others that we care about? How do I go about asking my Mom and my Dad, my friends, friends of friends, if they have had this procedure? And then explain that they should have this checked.
My first thoughts were along the lines of the solution needed to be tackled from several different levels. However the basic theme is education and call to action.
- Educate other doctors about elevated care that is available to their patients. (without looking like he is trying to steal their patients)
- Organize and reach out to nurses and medical office staff. Doctors can be very busy and sometimes the best advice comes from a nurse during the initial question and answer to take a minute to say well if you do have an abnormal result don’t just let them visually inspect, make them use this new technology it’s called High Resolution Anoscopy (HRA)
- Raise patient awareness so that they can advocate for themselves about getting the best care and early detection and treatment. Thus saving lives of those we love.
I’m very interested in other bloggers who speak on this topic or related ones who would be interested in helping me help this doctor. Bloggers specific to Chicago, Men’s health, HPV, cancer, HIV
Most importantly share this post with someone who has a voice about these topics. I’d love to have feedback but I’d rather get the word out. Comment here or write me directly.