Did you know that colorectal cancer is one of the most common cancers in the United States? In fact, it is third among the most common cancers in both males and females. For this year, the American Cancer Society estimates that the number of colon cancer cases will reach more than 140,000 new cases.
An interesting fact about colon cancer that you should know is that the lifetime risk for developing this type of cancer is about 1 in 20 or 5%. The risk is a little bit higher in men than in women.
Colon Cancer Treatment
Like with most types of cancers, colon cancer is treatable if it is diagnosed during the early stage. This is why it is important to undergo regular colon cancer screening especially if you have a high risk for colon cancer. Here are the things you need to know about screening the disease.
- You Have Options
Most people think that having a colonoscopy is the only way to screen for colon cancer. However, there are other options which include having a CT colonography, faecal occult blood test and flexible sigmoidoscopy. It is up to the patient to choose the colon cancer screening method.
- Family History
You should also be aware that one of the major risk factors of colon cancer is family history of the disease. If you have first degree relatives who are affected by colorectal cancer, there is a good chance that you will also be affected by the disease. If this is the case then you really need colon cancer screening regularly.
- The Importance of Thorough Bowel Preparation
For accurate results, thorough bowel preparation is crucial before the colon cancer screening procedure. It will maximize detection and help achieve a clearer result for whichever procedure is conducted. According to clinical trials, poor bowel preparation considerably lowers detection rates especially in the ascending colon.
- Talk to Your Family
If you have family history of colon cancer, you should discuss it with your family. Your children should be aware that they have higher risk for developing this type of cancer. When they reach a certain age, they should undergo regular colorectal cancer screening.
Since colon cancer is highly treatable only during the early stage, colorectal cancer screening is vital especially to people who are at risk. Risk factors include family history, older age, inflammatory intestinal conditions, race (African-American), high fat diet, low fiber diet, obesity, smoking, diabetes and a sedentary lifestyle.