In the age of sky rocketing healthcare costs it’s wise to take the idea of prevention seriously. Add kids to the mix and working toward preventing life threatening ailments becomes a no-brainer. We have to do our absolute best to stay alive for the sake of our kids and families. Of course not everything is preventable. Pick any 10 o’clock news broadcast and you will learn first hand of the random tragedies that befall families every single day. But there is something to be said about doing what is in ones power to help prevent serious illness.

If your family has a history of diabetes, perhaps you should watch your intake of sugary stuff. If heart disease runs rampant in your genes, maybe you should quit smoking, limit your salt intake, and exercise. I could be healthier myself (I can stand to lose a few pounds) but I practice the other important method of prevention: seeing my doctor regularly. Check-ups can mean the difference between being warned to change your diet and up your daily activity level, or being prescribed insulin injections or some other medication.

For those of you who read this blog you know where I’m going next… Cancer. I don’t know about you but cancer has been hitting too close to home for me lately. Too many colleagues, family, and friends are either suffering from, or have someone they know and love who is suffering from the Big C. Knowing your family history and taking the necessary steps to address that history can help you prevent (or at least get an early diagnosis of) some cancers. Many of you know I get regular colonoscopies because my dad had colon cancer in his mid thirties and his father in his seventies. That means my brothers and I must be diligent if we are to keep that crap in check. Luckily colon cancer is highly treatable when caught early.

In fact my last colonoscopy was just last month. I have provided a photo (below) of the cool end of my colon – just before it transitions into the small intestine. I think GI doctors takes a photo of this particular point to prove that they have run their little camera through the entire colon. The problem with this being the “proof” is that I can’t tell the difference between my cecum and yours. How do I know that this is the inside of my body? It’s 2009 – with the right software I can put my head on Will Smith’s body and post it on my Facebook profile. I could probably even get my hands on a photo of his cecum if I pay the creepiest paparazzi on the planet. Well, I guess I just have to trust my doctor!

Should I have really posted this colon photo?

Should I have really posted this colon photo?

Remind dad (or consider this your reminder if you are a dad) to get a colonoscopy if he’s 50 and over and has never had it done. If he’s younger and has a family history (mother, father, sibling) get his butt in gear and have him talk it over with his physician. Same thing goes for getting his prostate checked out. Not a fun procedure but it can be potentially life saving. And let’s work on these spare tires too!