Colorectal cancer is the most preventable cancer. This is because we can often find and remove polyps in the colon, before they become cancerous. Colon cancer responds best when found and treated early, which makes screening so important.
You may not have any symptoms. If you are 50 or older, you should have a colonoscopy and follow up every 10 years. There are some exceptions. If you are African American, you should be screened starting at age 45. If you have a strong family history of colorectal cancer, you may need to even start screening in your thirties. Make sure to talk with your doctor about whether you are at high risk for colon cancer and which screening test best suits you.
Great news for patients who have a higher risk than the average person! Results from a study recently released show colonoscopy and removal of precancerous polyps can lower the risk of colorectal cancer. The study also proved taking out polyps can lower the number of deaths due to colorectal cancer by over 50 percent. Findings from the National Polyp Study were published in the New England Journal of Medicine on February 23, 2012. For a short summary on the findings, see http://www.cancer.gov/ncicancerbulletin/030612/page5.
For more information about colon cancer screening or any cancer concern, contact the Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center/Cancer Resource Center:Phone: 1-800-237-1225
Walk-in: 200 Hawkins Drive, 11510 PFP
Iowa City, Iowa