NNLM Reading Club: Colon Health

NNLM Reading Club: Colon Health


Topic: Colon Health
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Caring for Your Colon

The death of Chadwick Boseman stunned the world. Boseman was a critically-acclaimed actor, famous for playing the Marvel Comics superhero, "Black Panther." What was not known publicly, however, was his four-year battle with colon cancer.

Naik H, Johnson MDD, Johnson MR. Internet Interest in Colon Cancer Following the Death of Chadwick Boseman: Infoveillance Study. J Med Internet Res. 2021 Jun 15;23(6):e27052. doi: 10.2196/27052. PMID: 34128824; PMCID: PMC8277405.


Too Young for Colon Cancer?

Think again. Chadwick Boseman's death at age 43 put a spotlight on the fact that colon cancer has been increasingly affecting younger adults over the past decade. The Prevent Cancer Foundation has even dedicated a campaign, Too Young for This Sh*t, to raise awareness.

Bailey CE, Hu C, You YN, et al. Increasing Disparities in the Age-Related Incidences of Colon and Rectal Cancers in the United States, 1975-2010. JAMA Surg. 2015;150(1):17–22. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2014.1756


Take the Quiz: Colorectal Cancer

Don’t be fooled by rumors and misinformation about your colon. Get the facts. Test your knowledge of 6 common beliefs about colorectal cancer.

Man holding stomach and grimacing
Abdominal pain, aches, or cramps may be symptoms of colorectal cancer. If you have any symptoms that worry you, be sure to see your doctor right away. Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Lowering Colon Cancer Risk

While no cancer is preventable, many risk factors are under your control. Here are 6 ways to help lower your colorectal cancer risk:

  1. Follow a diet high in fiber that includes lots of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and not much red and processed meats
  2. Exercise regularly
  3. Don’t smoke
  4. Limit alcohol to no more than 2 drinks a day for men and 1 drink a day for women
  5. Learn your family medical history
  6. Get screened for colorectal cancer by talking with your health care provider

Source: American Cancer Society

Because colorectal cancer may cause no warning signs, regular screenings are still the most proactive thing you can do to help find cancer early when it’s most treatable. Organizations such as the Colorectal Cancer Alliance raise awareness in support of access to screening, treatment, and research.

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Have the Conversation

In 1999, the Prevent Cancer Foundation led the charge to designate March as National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. Help raise awareness of colon health by selecting one of the NNLM Reading Club book selections. Read and discuss with friends and loved ones. Also, use credible resources for reliable information.

Three book cover images for colon health


There's an NIH for that...

Intestinal Track image

The National Cancer Institute drives the National Institutes of Health (NIH) cancer research enterprise by supporting and convening researchers, paying for facilities and systems, coordinating the National Cancer Plan, and more.

Colon Cancer Treatment (PDQ®) Patient Version

The National Library of Medicine, with its data science initiatives to collect, organize, and disseminate the world’s health information, produces open-source databases such as PubMed with its more than 32 million citations for biomedical literature and MedlinePlus, a consumer website with relevant health and wellness information that is trusted, easy to understand, and free of advertising, in both English and Spanish.

PubMed logo
Recio-Boiles A, Cagir B. Colon Cancer. 2021 Jan 25. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan–. PMID: 29262132

 

MedlinePlus logoColorectal Cancer
Colonoscopy in Multiple Languages


For Your Bookshelf

Caregiver's Guide to Cancer book cover

Looking after someone with cancer can be complex, overwhelming, and emotionally draining all at once. As a caregiver, you may also overlook your own well-being while you focus on your loved one. This book empowers you to be an attentive, thoughtful, and compassionate caregiver for your friend or family member with cancer. You’ll also find practical everyday advice for meeting your own physical and emotional needs while dealing with the unique challenges you face. 
 

The Caregiver's Guide to Cancer: Compassionate Advice for Caring for You and Your Loved One | Victoria Landes | Rockridge Press | 2021 | 178 pages | ISBN: 978-1648764196

 

Daddy Has an Owie book cover image

Daddy Has an Owie was written to help parents be able to talk to their children about the heavy topic of cancer in a lighthearted way. The character, inspired by the author's own daughter, gives perspective from a young girl getting an understanding of her dad’s cancer, chemo, hair loss, and other symptoms that come along with his illness. With its heartwarming and whimsical illustrations, Daddy Has an Owie is a great book for any parent, caregiver, or grandparent to help explain any type of cancer to a child. 

Daddy Has an Owie: Explaining a Parent's Cancer to a Child | Tiffany Williford | Williford LLC | 2019 | 24 pages | ISBN: 978-1733870405 | Reading age 8 - 12 years

 

Emperor of all Maladies book cover image

The story of cancer is a story of human ingenuity, resilience, and perseverance, but also of hubris, paternalism, and misperception. Mukherjee recounts centuries of discoveries, setbacks, victories, and deaths, told through the eyes of his predecessors and peers, training their wits against an infinitely resourceful adversary that, just three decades ago, was thought to be easily vanquished in an all-out “war against cancer.” The book reads like a literary thriller with cancer as the protagonist. 

The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer | Siddhartha Mukherjee | Scribner; 1st edition | 2011 | 608 pages | ISBN: 978-1439170915 | Discussion Questions

 

Mayo Clinic on Digestive Health book cover

Mayo Clinic on Digestive Health is an authoritative yet practical reference manual that includes information on everything from healthy digestion to cancer treatment. This book is packed with helpful advice about how to maintain a healthy gut; manage heartburn, gas, constipation, and diarrhea; treat common digestive conditions; and prevent serious diseases.
 

Mayo Clinic on Digestive Health: How to Prevent and Treat Common Stomach and Gut Problems, Fourth Edition | Sahil Khanna, M.B.B.S. | Mayo Clinic Press | 2020 | 328 pages | ISBN: 978-1893005525

Book: One Drop of Rain
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NNLM Reading Club Book

Do you want to share this book with your reading group? The Network of the National Library of Medicine (NNLM) has made it easy to download the discussion questions, promotional materials, and supporting health information.

Discussion Guide

Discussion Guide for One Drop of Rain: Creating a Wave of Colon Cancer Awareness
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One Drop of Rain book cover

When Molly McMaster receives an unheard-of diagnosis of colon cancer on her 23rd birthday, she finds that her worst fear isn't that she might die, but rather that she will become "that poor little sick girl." Instead, she chooses to answer back with creative, funny, sexy, and out-of-the-box ideas that inadvertently begin to change the view of this "old man's disease." This is no kumbaya cancer trip. Follow Molly as she generates national "colon" headlines by skating 2,000 miles across the country, building a giant colon, and helping to create The Colon Club, a national non-profit with the goal of raising awareness of colorectal cancer, especially in young people. An inspirational story of courage and overcoming the odds, this candid memoir is the ultimate story of how every rainstorm begins with just a single drop of rain.ebook icon 

One Drop of Rain: Creating a Wave of Colon Cancer Awareness | Molly McMaster Morgosiepov | Courageous Book House | 2019 | 374 pages | ISBN: 978-0578459066 | WorldCat

Author

Molly Morgoslepov photo

After being diagnosed with colon cancer at the age of 23, Molly McMaster Morgoslepov began raising awareness of the disease in “out-of-the-box ways.” She has inline skated from New York to Colorado, run the New York City Marathon, and conceived of the Colossal Colon, a 40-foot-long, 4-foot-tall crawl through a replica of a human colon. Molly also Co-Founded The Colon Club, a nonprofit organization dedicated to raising awareness of colorectal cancer, especially in young people.

Meet Author Molly McMaster Morgoslepov - 20-Year Colon Cancer Survivor. Danielle Ripley Burgess, March 11, 2019

Book: Our Cancers
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NNLM Reading Club Book

Do you want to share this book with your reading group? The Network of the National Library of Medicine (NNLM) has made it easy to download the discussion questions, promotional materials, and supporting health information.

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Our Cancers book cover image

Poet and playwright Dan O’Brien chronicles the year and a half during which both he and his wife were treated for cancer. On the fourteenth anniversary of 9/11—an event that caused their downtown apartment to become “suffused with the World Trade Center’s carcinogenic dust”—Dan O’Brien’s wife discovers a lump in her breast. Surgery and chemotherapy soon follow, and on the day of his wife’s final infusion, O’Brien learns of his own diagnosis. He has colon cancer and will need to undergo his own intensive treatment over the next nine months. Our Cancers is a compelling account of illness and commitment, of parenthood and partnership. This spare and powerful sequence creates intimate mythology that seeks meaning in illness while also celebrating the resilience of sufferers, caregivers, and survivors.ebook icon

Our Cancers | Dan O'Brien | Acre Books | 2021 | 102 pages | ISBN: 978-1946724427 | WorldCat

Author

Dan O'Brien photo

Dan O’Brien is a poet and playwright. His previous poetry collections include War Reporter, New Life, and Scarsdale. O’Brien is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship in Drama and two PEN America Awards for playwriting. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife and daughter.

Photo Credit: Cambridge Jones

 

Book: Where the Sun Don't Shine
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NNLM Reading Club Book

Do you want to share this book with your reading group? The Network of the National Library of Medicine (NNLM) has made it easy to download the discussion questions, promotional materials, and supporting health information.

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Discussion Guide for Where the Sun Don't Shine
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Where the Sun Don't Shine book cover

Barry “Jack” Frost was completely unprepared at age 52 for the news that he had stage four colon cancer. In this unflinching account of his two-and-a-half-year journey to recovery, it is clear that his sense of humor remained intact, even when his illness was at its worst. With the support of medical staff, family, and friends, Frost found ways to cope and even learned to help others in similar pain. In Where the Sun Don’t Shine, Frost takes a frank look at colon cancer as he shares his own story, along with ideas that might help other patients and their families.ebook icon

Where the Sun Don't Shine | Barry "Jack" Frost | Bell Bottom Press | 2020 | 128 pages | ISBN: 978-057879273 | WorldCat

Author

Barry "Jack" Frost grew up in Lewes, England, traveled the world with the Royal Navy for 15 years, then married an American and moved to the United States. Before retirement, he worked as an electrical specialist. He is also the author of Life in a Blue Suit - A Sailor's Tales of Grit, Humor, Loyalty, and Leadership in the Royal Navy.