THE GASTRO HEALTH GOLF DAY QUESTION – DO YOU NEED TO BE SCREENED FOR COLON CANCER?

The golf course may seem an unlikely venue for a community health awareness forum, but there’s an easy explanation why Friday’s Gastro Health Golf Day was held at the Black Mountain Golf Course (November 26th).

THE GASTRO HEALTH GOLF DAY QUESTION – DO YOU NEED TO BE SCREENED FOR COLON CANCER?

The initiative was a collaboration between the Hua Hin Be Well Medical Centre, Bangkok’s Samitivej Hospital and last but not least, Siam PGA, led by Andy Harris. 

Andy has had his own gastro health concerns in recent times and wanted to spread the message that gastro health matters.  Discussions with another golfer, Be Well’s founder Heiko Emanuel then led to the answer; a Gastro Health Golf Day.   

THE GASTRO HEALTH GOLF DAY QUESTION – DO YOU NEED TO BE SCREENED FOR COLON CANCER?

Playing golf may not be a risk factor when it comes to issues such as colon or gastric cancer.  The real risk factors include being over 45 years of age, a family history, smoking, alcohol and dietary issues.  But having Andy on hand added a very personal touch to the forum presented by Dr Charlie Laohapand, a specialist in internal medicine and gastroenterology at the Samitijev Hospital.

THE GASTRO HEALTH GOLF DAY QUESTION – DO YOU NEED TO BE SCREENED FOR COLON CANCER?

None of us likes the idea of doctors poking and prodding our bodies, especially internally, but undergoing a colonoscopy to screen for colon cancer is painless and saves lives.  Colorectal cancer is one of the ten most common cancers in men and women. 

Dr Charlie demystified the colonoscopy procedure, a same day screening examination to discover the presence of polyps in the lining of the colon.  A colon polyp is a small clump of cells that are often harmless. But over time, some colon polyps can develop into colon cancer, which may be fatal when found in its later stages.

Because colon polyps often don’t cause symptoms, regular screening tests are the answer.  Colon polyps found in the early stages can usually be removed safely and completely. The best prevention for colon cancer is regular screening and the removal of polyps.

Regardless of whether you are a golfer or not, the Gastro Health Golf Day message was to consider these risk factors then discuss the need to be screened with a trusted health professional:

  • Are you older than 45 years of age?
  • Are you older than 40 years of age with a family history of bowel or colon cancer or colon polyps?
  • Are you experiencing rectal bleeding or abdominal pain, or a change in your bowel habits?

Our thanks to Andy Harris for this initiative, a presentation applauded by a very appreciative audience.  It may not have improved any on-course golf scores, but it just could have been live-saving.