Colon, colorectal and rectal cancers are actually the same type of cancer. The second highest cancer killer in the United States is colon cancer which claimed 268,783 lives in 2007, the last year data was compiled. The really sad thing is that most of these deaths could have been avoided.
Most of these deaths could have been avoided.
Colon, colorectal and rectal cancers are actually the same type of cancer. The second highest cancer killer in the United States is colon cancer which claimed 268,783 lives in 2007, the last year data was completely compiled. Most of these deaths could have been avoided.
There are routine screenings that help to detect colon cancer.
One of the valuable screening tools against colon cancer is a colonoscopy. This test uses a fiber optic tube attached to a microscopic camera which views the rectum and large intestine helping to detect colon polyps. During the procedure polyps (small tumors) are removed. They then can be biopsied.
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Another is sigmoidoscopy. A sigmoidoscopy examines the last one third of the large intestine, rectum and sigmoid colon. A flexible viewing tube with a lens and light allows the physician to view the inside of the colon. It is usually performed in a doctor’s office and the area is examined for the presence of cancer; abnormal growths or polyps and ulcers. Screening is recommended to begin at the age of 35 for those who are in a higher risk category and for others beginning at age 50. The testing should be performed every 3 to 5 years. Persons who have higher risks are those who have a family history of ulcerative colitis, colorectal cancer or familial polyposis.
Another tool for screening is a barium enema or a lower gastrointestinal series. This consists of a special type of X-ray using a barium sulfate which when used in an enema appears white on X-ray film. It allows for the viewing of polyps, diverticulosis, tumors and other abnormalities.
Soon we may not need to get screened.
A new type of test is being studied at the Mayo Clinic. So far it is found to be 91% effective in detecting colon cancer with just a stool sample, but it is still being tested and not yet being offered to patients. So until it is available the above tests are the best screening procedures to screen against cancer.