Title: Got Guts? A Guide to Prevent and Beat Colon Cancer
Authors: Joseph Weiss, MD, Nancy Cetel, MD,
Danielle Weiss, MD
Publisher: Smartask Books
Date: October 12, 2020
Got Guts? A Guide to Prevent and Beat Colon Cancer by Jospeh Weiss, MD, Nancy Cetel, MD, and Danielle Weiss, MD, attempts to tackle the difficult topic of colon cancer screening. This has always been a topic of debate with many viewpoints, changing information, and more recently, newer methods of screening to be considered. The authors challenge the notion of colonoscopy superiority in screening and encourage other less invasive and less costly modalities to encourage more compliance with screening. The authors clearly understand the difference between population and individual risks, and outcomes. They truly favor the individual to just get screened, to not be embarrassed, to start screening early and to repeat often, much earlier in fact than even the most recent guidelines’ recommendations. The biggest challenge to colon cancer screening is education and outreach to the general population. More than one-third of Americans who should be screened for colon cancer do not participate or receive any method of screening. Unfortunately, a large number of those individuals also don’t routinely see a doctor for any reason making this issue all the more difficult to correct. Therefore, the authors have attempted to target the book to the general population and to encourage readers to discuss these topics with their friends and family who might not read the book or be aware of the need to screen for colon cancer. The book repeats information throughout the 136 pages to drive home points which hopefully make the recommendations more understandable to non-healthcare readers.
However, given the recitation of statistics and the thorough and comprehensive review of testing and screening options, it may still be difficult for the average patient to understand this book, and any decisions they make should always be in conjunction with a medical provider. Some recommendations, such as routine screening with saliva genetic testing before age 20 years, are not a part of any current medical guideline and therefore would be very difficult to get covered by insurance, leaving the ability to get the test to those who are willing to pay for it themselves. In healthcare, it is important for people to be aware of their options and to decide if it is worth it to them to pay for testing themselves. It is this kind of forward thinking that is what drives debate and is worthy of additional study so that practice guidelines can be further refined. Perhaps an added target audience would be primary care providers, who can then recommend the book to select patients who want more background to be able to participate knowledgeably in the shared decision making discussions about their own or their family’s healthcare.
Daniel Schlosser, MD
Dignity Health Medical Group,