Colorectal Cancer: Are You At Risk?

Colorectal Cancer: Are You At Risk?

Colorectal Cancer is the third largest killer diagnosed among men and women today. Your chances of having colon cancer are 1 in 21. Higher risk groups are black males, especially those with 1st degree family member with Colorectal Cancer.

Risk factors are; increased age, smoking, heavy alcohol use, certain diets, personal or family history of Adenomatous Polyps, colorectal cancer or inflammatory disease such as Crohn’s.

Over the last several years Colorectal Cancer screening have improved, with early detection survival rates are 90%, once cancer leaves the colon, chances of survival drastically decrease.

Colorectal Screening is the biggest contributor to decreased death rate. The goal of Colorectal Screening is the prevention of Colorectal Cancer. While the Fecal Immunochemical Test (FIT) is the recommended stool test and detects cancer, more effectively than the colonoscopy. The colonoscopy can detect Adenomatous Polyps which are often present prior to becoming cancerous.

The FIT should be performed yearly and does not require any preparation or admission to hospital or surgery center.

The colonoscopy detects both early cancer and Adenomatous Polyps making it the gold standard. Patients are sometimes hesitant to have a colonoscopy due to necessary bowel preparation and patient may go to an outpatient surgery center or hospital. Colonoscopies are only recommended every 10 years.

By decreasing processed meats, increasing fiber, and regular exercise, plus colorectal screening at age 50, you can significantly lessen your chances of having colorectal cancer.

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