Colonoscopy: colon cancer screening
Colorectal cancer is the second-most deadly of all cancers, killing more men and women (over 60,000) each year in the U.S. than either breast or prostate cancers. The numbers are staggering when you consider that colorectal cancer is among the most preventable and potentially curable of all cancers... if it is found and treated in its early stages.
Who is at risk?
Colorectal cancer/cancerous colon polyps strike men and women with almost equal frequency. Though colorectal cancer/cancerous polyps may occur at any age, more than 90 percent of the patients are over age 40, at which point the risk doubles every ten years. In addition to age, a family history of colorectal cancer and colon polyps increases the chance of developing the disease to 10 to 15 percent. Also at high risk are individuals with a personal history of colitis ulcerative, colon polyps or cancer of other organs, especially of the breast or uterus. The risk rises to over 50 percent in people with colitis ulcerative and those whose family members harbor specific genetic mutations.
Sadly, too many patients put off screening because of the preparation required, fear of discomfort with the procedure itself or fear of the results. They don’t understand that, thanks to today’s anesthesia, there is no discomfort and we typically (over 90% of the time) find – and remove – benign or pre-cancerous polyps.
Is colon cancer preventable?
There are steps that reduce the risk of contracting the disease. To lower your risk of colorectal cancer/cancerous polyps, the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons recommends that you have regular colon cancer screening after age 50. Between 80% and 90% of colorectal cancer patients are restored to normal health if their colon cancer/cancerous polyps are detected and treated in the earliest stages. Since there are very few symptoms associated with colon polyps or early colorectal cancer, regular colon cancer screening is essential.
Current screening methods include fecal occult blood testing (a simple chemical test that can detect hidden blood in the stool), flexible sigmoidoscopy (a visual examination of the rectum and lower portion of the colon, performed in our office), double contrast barium enema (barium X-ray), colonoscopy screening (a visual examination of the entire colon) and digital rectal exam. Some newer DNA-based stool tests are being studied at this time. Experts agree that colonoscopy is the “gold standard” for diagnosing and preventing colon cancer. Some studies have shown that colonoscopy detects 80-90% of significant colorectal tumors and removes them.
When you need today’s latest colorectal cancer diagnosis and treatment, call on the experts at Dayton Colon & Rectal Center. Learn how easy it is to avoid colon cancer. Our colonoscopy/colon cancer patients come to us from the area of Miami Valley, in the greater Dayton area and in the greater Springfield area, including: Dayton, Huber Heights, Centerville, Englewood and Kettering in Montgomery County, OH; Springfield in Clark County, OH; and Beavercreek and Xenia in Green County, OH. Call us at 937.435.8663 or fill out our Request an Appointment form to schedule a consultation with one of our colorectal specialists.