The Earlier Colon Cancer is Detected, The Better Your Chances of Surviving
Colorectal cancer, commonly referred to as colon cancer, is cancer that occurs in the colon or rectum. It is the second most deadly cancer in the United States. Most colon cancer deaths can be avoided by getting screened. While colorectal cancer can occur at any age, more than 90% of patients are over the age of 40. The risk then doubles every ten years.
Nearly all colon and rectal cancers begin as benign polyps. Polyps are abnormal growths rising from the lining of the large intestine. Polyps can be flat or have a stalk, and they protrude into the intestinal canal.
The American Cancer Society recommends beginning colon screenings for early detection at age 50.
Benefits of Having a Colonoscopy
Polyps can be found and are removed during a colonoscopy procedure. Once a polyp is removed, a recurrence is highly unusual. However, the reasons causing a polyp to form may still be present.
About 30 percent of people who have had polyps will develop new ones. When detected early enough, 80 to 90 percent of patients are restored to normal health. The percentage drops to 50 percent or less in the late stages.
Are you high risk?
People with a high risk of colorectal cancer may require more frequent screenings. This includes those who:
- Have a family history of colorectal cancer and polyps
- Are over the age of 50
- People who suffer from inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), this includes a history of ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. NOTE: Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is different from inflammatory bowel disease and does not carry an increased risk of cancer.
- Cancer of other organs, especially breast or uterine cancer
- The American Cancer Society recommends that routine screening should begin for the early detection of colorectal cancer at the age of 50.
Common Colon Cancer Symptoms
- Rectal bleeding
- Changes in bowel habits such as constipation or diarrhea
- Abdominal pain
- Weight loss
Abdominal pain and weight loss are usually late symptoms indicating possible extensive disease. Many polyps and early cancers fail to produce symptoms; that’s why it’s so important to be screened by having a colonoscopy.
Eight Tips for Prevention
- Get screened by having a colonoscopy at age 50
- Get screened at age 40 or before if there is a history of colorectal cancer in your family
- Get screened if you have any change in bowel habits or suffer from ulcerative colitis or any inflammatory bowel disease
- Watch your weight
- Exercise on a regular basis
- Eat a healthy diet of fruits and vegetables, low-fat animal protein
- Restrict alcohol to no more than one drink per day
- Don’t use tobacco
Make Your Appointment Today
Make an appointment for the consultation and colonoscopy by calling the number below or submitting a online communication.