Patient Education Program
Preventing Colon Cancer
Preventing Colon Cancer

Preventing Colon Cancer

Colon cancer is the 3rd most common cancer, and the 2nd most common cause of cancer deaths for both men and women equally. Theoretically, we could prevent almost all colon cancers, if everyone came in for a screening exam.

If caught early:

  • Polyps can be removed before they turn to cancer
  • Cancers can be removed and cured without chemotherapy

The American Cancer Society now recommends starting colonoscopy at age 45.

What is the best way to screen for Colon Cancer?

The best test, the ‘Gold Standard”, is the colonoscopy. It will reveal 97% of all colon cancers. It also allows the removal of larger, precancerous polyps. There are also evaluations for colitis, diverticulosis, anemias, high risk situations, where colonoscopy is the only test that will evaluate these.

Cologuard® testing is a new Stool evaluation tool:

  • Cologuard® can find 92% of cancers. It can find 42% of larger pre-cancerous polyps. It cannot find polyps less than 1 cm in size.
  • Because of the above limitations, the Cologuard® test must be performed every 3 years.

What are the common reasons for having a colonoscopy?

  1. Screening at age 45, then every 10 years
  2. Blood found in stool, or with Bowel movement
  3. Unexplained anemia
  4. Family History of Colon Cancer
  5. Prior history of Colon Cancer, or prior polyps
  6. Evaluation of Inflammatory Bowel Disease
  7. Abnormal Barium enema, C.T. Scan, or Cologuard® test
  8. Evaluation of unexplained abdominal symptoms.
Colonoscopy
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