Colorectal cancer or colon cancer for short, is cancer that occurs in the colon or rectum. With the pandemic, colorectal cancer screenings have dropped. The goal of this month is to gain awareness of the disease and encourage people to get early screenings. When discovered early, colon cancer is very treatable.
The colon is connected to the large intestine. Most colorectal cancer develop first as polyps, which are abnormal growths inside the colon or rectum that may become cancerous if not removed.3 Screening tests are used to find and remove polyps. The scientific medical community is always doing research to discover new findings.6
The U.S. Preventative Services Task Force recommends adults aged 50 to 75 be screened for colorectal cancer. Screening tests are used to find polyps or colon cancer. A few of the tests are:
Stool Tests: This test is used to detect blood in your stool. Stool samples are checked in a lab to determine the existence of blood.
Flexible Sigmoidoscopy: For this test, a doctor inserts a thin tube in your rectum to check for polyps or cancer in the rectum or the lower third of the colon.
Colonoscopy: This is like the flexible sigmoidoscopy test, but your entire colon is checked for polyps.
CT Colonography: Also known as a virtual colonoscopy, this test uses X-rays and computers to get images of your entire colon for examination.
Many times, colorectal cancer does not cause symptoms, which is why screenings are so important.7 Symptoms of colorectal cancer include:
A change in bowel habits
Persistent abdominal discomfort
Feeling weak or tired
Unexplained weight loss
Colorectal Cancer Risk Factors:2
As you get older, your risk of getting colorectal cancer increases
Having a family history of colorectal cancer
Lack of physical activity
A diet that lacks fruits or vegetables
Facts & Statistics
Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer in the U.S3
It is the second leading cause of death in men and women combines in the U.S3
It is mostly found in people 50 years or older.3
The lifetime risk of developing colorectal cancer is about 1 in 23 (4.3%) for men and 1 in 25 (4.0%) for women.5
What should you do?
Talk to your doctor at your annual check up to see if a simple stool test at home is right for you. Beginning at the age of 50, those with no symptoms should consider getting a colonoscopy every 10 years. You can do your part to prevent colorectal cancer. Visit www.cancer.org for more information.
For the month of June the goal is to raise awareness, address the stigma and build a stronger community of advocates. Migraine disease is one of the 20 most disabling medical illnesses in the world and the 12th most disabling disorder in the United States. More than 90% of migraine suffers can’t function normally during an attack.1 Migraine is an extraordinarily prevalent neurological disease, affecting 39 million men, women and children in the U.S. and 1 billion worldwide.5
Migraine is a genetic neurological disease, characterized by episodes often called Migraine attacks. They are quite different from regular headaches which are non-migrainous. Migraine sufferers may have moderate or severe pain and usually can’t participate in normal activities because of the pain. Many people experience migraines lasting for at least four hours or may last for days. The diagnosis usually happens if people have a combination of symptoms and doctors have ruled out other disorders.2
Build a Support Network
Migraine is a disabling disease that no one should have to go through alone. It’s essential to build a support network of understanding people who can not only empathize with your experience but be a helping hand during episodes. While there are a multitude of online support groups, talking with your friends and family about your experience will help since they are an invaluable resource to help you get through migraine attacks.3
Unusual Symptoms Related to Migraines
Some symptoms below aren’t associated with ‘regular’ migraine or headache episodes. Understanding all types of symptoms per episode can help recognize an episode before, during, and after it happens if ‘regular’ symptoms aren’t present.
For more information regarding National Migraine and Headache Awareness Month 2020 click here.
Tria Health and Migraines
Tria Health’s Pharmacy Advocate Program offers one-on-one, private consultations with a Tria Health Pharmacist. Your pharmacist will work with you and your doctor(s) to ensure you’re getting the intended outcomes from your medications.
Unfortunately, with the spread of Coronavirus, the spread of misinformation has increased. It’s understandable to have anxiety with this current climate, but it’s also important to look to validated resources when searching for answers. One common claim we’ve seen spread as of late, is regarding the use of ibuprofen (NSAID) and having COVID-19.
Is It Dangerous to Take Ibuprofen to Treat COVID-19?
Both the World Health Organization and the FDA are currently unaware of existing evidence connecting the use of NSAIDS (Ibuprofen) with worsening COVID-19 symptoms. The FDA will continue to investigate the issue and report their findings when available.2 If patients are concerned, but require NSAIDs to manage their conditions, we recommend speaking with a health care provider and identify a possible alternative.2 While NSAIDs are not reported to worsen COVID-19 symptoms, it’s important to note that they do reduce inflammation and fever, which may diminish the utility of diagnostic signs in detecting infections.
What’s the Current Verdict? Overall, no direct recommendation for use of NSAIDs for COVID-19 symptoms until more evidence becomes available.2
Tria Health’s Pharmacists can Answer Your Questions
Tria Health is a no cost benefit available through select members’ health plans. Tria Health’s pharmacists are here to talk with patients about their risk factors for COVID-19 and ways they can mitigate risk. We are here to support all our members in their time of need. If you have any medication or COVID-19 related questions, please call our help desk at 1.888.799.874
For those categorized as high-risk of contracting COVID-19, it’s important to take all precautions when staying healthy and getting prepared. Those with higher risk of getting very sick from COVID-19 are, older adults 65+, pregnant women, and people with pre-existing medical conditions (i.e. diabetes, cancer, heart, respiratory and cardiovascular disease, immunodeficiency, etc.).1
To reduce the risk of contracting illness, take precautions such as stocking up on supplies, staying home if you can, and most importantly practice social distancing. Some supplies to keep in the household are, enough groceries to last you a few weeks, cleaning supplies, personal care products and extra medications (contact your healthcare provider to discuss options). Preventative actions such as washing hands with soap for at least 20 seconds, avoid touching facial areas, especially nose eyes and mouth, don’t shake hands and avoid non-essential travel. If COVID-19 reaches your community consider new ways to distance yourself between other people, such as having food and grocery items delivered instead of leaving the house.1
Remember not to overstock and deplete resources from your surrounding community. Take only what you really need.
Have a Plan
If you fall under the high-risk category, it is important to have a plan if you contract COVID-19. First, consulting with your health care provider is the most important. Make sure to have an idea of where to go and what to do if you start showing symptoms. Also stay in touch with friends, family, and neighbors in case you need to ask for help. If you start showing symptoms, stay home and call your doctor, they will help take care of you and determine whether you can begin recovering from home or need emergency help.2 Seek medical attention immediately if you show any of the symptoms in the box below. With the spread of COVID-19 happening quickly its important to stay updated on your community news and take extra precautions if it reaches your area, especially if you are high-risk. Unfortunately, we know that having a chronic health condition can increase a patient’s risk. We are here to support all our members in their time of need. Tria Health’s pharmacists are here to talk with patients about their risk factors and ways they can mitigate risk. Members, please know you can call our help desk at 1.888.799.874.
World Asthma Day is an annual event organized by
the Global Initiative for Asthma to improve asthma awareness and care around
the world. World Asthma Day is held on the first Tuesday in May, in
collaboration with health care groups and asthma educators throughout the
world. Asthma impacts around 8.3% of Americans, which is close to 26.5 million
people.1 This Tuesday, take the time to learn more about Asthma and
how you can help raise awareness!
Asthma is a chronic lung disease that inflames and
narrows the airways. Asthma causes recurring periods of wheezing (a whistling
sound when you breathe), chest tightness, shortness of breath, and coughing.
The coughing often occurs at night or early in the morning.2
the Signs and Symptoms of Asthma?
While these symptoms are very common for
individuals with asthma, the best way to know for sure is to schedule an
appointment with your doctor. They’re be able to perform a physical exam and
possibly a lung function test.
Common signs and symptoms of asthma include:
Coughing from asthma often is worse at night or early in the morning, making it
hard to sleep.
Wheezing is a whistling or squeaky sound that occurs when you breathe.
tightness: This may feel like something is squeezing or sitting on your
of breath: Some people who have asthma say they can’t catch their breath,
or they feel out of breath. You may feel like you can’t get air out of your
How can you
participate in World Asthma Day?
Organize debates about local issues affecting
asthma control—e.g., pollution, smoking, access to asthma care & medication
Organize a hike for people with asthma and their
friends, led by a health care provider who can educate the group about managing asthma in an outdoor environment.
Arrange school visits on or prior to World
Asthma Day—educate children about asthma and offer on-the-spot peak ﬂow
meter testing. These activities could
be combined with plays, concerts, or poetry competitions highlighting the
concept of asthma control.
Many patients decide to take medications in order
to effectively manage their asthma. If Tria Health is offered through your
benefits plan, you have the option of receiving a one-on-one, private consultation
with one of Tria Health’s pharmacists over the phone. During your consultation,
your pharmacist will review all your current medications, including vitamins
and supplements. If you’re interested in exploring medication treatments for
asthma, Tria’s pharmacist will be able to provide you with recommendations.