Today's death of Tony Snow, Pres. Bush's former press secretary and Fox News commentator, is sobering. He was 53 and died of colon cancer, which he had fought the last several years. He had a couple of young children.
Because we discuss it here with some frequency, we know the value of a colonoscopy in preventing colon cancer. During a colonoscopy, the doctor can remove pre-cancerous polyps which will prevent the disease. Almost all colon cancer is preventable - no polyps, no cancers. Everyone over 50 should have a colonoscopy, like it or not.
Colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death among men, after lung cancer, and the third leading cause of death for women, after lung and breast cancers. About 10% of all cancer deaths are the result of colon cancer, and almost all of them are avoidable.
Lack of physical activity is one of the strongest risk factors for colon cancer, so I suspect that participants in this forum are less likely to come down with it than average. Because we've talked about this before, I know many of you have had your test, and I don't want to preach to the choir, but I want to propose something else. Make it a point this month to convince five people to get the test. Become a colonoscopy evangelist. Bring it up in conversation with friends and coworkers and push them to get tested. It's not the most pleasant topic, and not the most pleasant test, but too many people avoid it because they think it is worse than it really is. Take it from me - colon cancer is a worthless way to die.
More info here, here, and here.