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Women’s Expo was about women’s health

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To Pioneer reporter Brian Matthews:

I am sorry that all you got out of the Women’s Expo was that women want lessons on pole dancing, spending money on purses and cosmetics, along with when to visit their gynecologist. The main focus was women’s health. I am assuming that you walked in when the keynote speaker, Brenda Elsagher said that she had to have reconstruction of her vagina. Not once did she say go see the gynecologist. Her message was to get a colonoscopy. She had colorectal cancer and needed to have reconstruction of part of her vagina along with removal of her rectum.

You missed the point of the entire Women’s Expo, which was women’s health. In the outer ring of the hockey arena, next to a concession stand, there was a very large colon set up that a person walked through.  This showed you what the inside of your colon looked like with polyps along with diverticulitis or ulcerative colitis. These are precursors to cancer. If they are caught in time you can prevent colon cancer by removing them.  A person should get a colonoscopy every 10 years starting at the age of 50, earlier if you have a family history of colon cancer.

A colonoscopy should not be a taboo subject, nor should prostate cancer. This seems to be another subject that you are uncomfortable with. Prostate cancer is second only to nonmelanoma skin cancer and lung cancer as the leading cause of cancer and cancer death in the U.S., making it the second most commonly diagnosed cancer in men and the sixth leading cause of male cancer death according to Global Cancer Statistics (2011). When a decision is made to screen, the recommendation is to screen with prostate specific antigen (PSA) blood tests at intervals ranging from every two to four years.

I would like to thank you, Mr. Matthews, for validating how important it is to educate the public and remove any misconceptions they might have in regards to the importance of screening for colon cancer with a colonoscopy or screening for prostate cancer with a blood test. The life that is saved can be your own.

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