Colon Cancer: Get the test, Get the Polyp, Get the Cure
Colon Cancer almost always starts with a polyp. Get the polyp early and stop colong cancer before it starts in both men and women. Colon polyps are small growths on the lining of the colon or rectum, parts of the digestive track. Testing can save lives by finding polyps before they become cancerous. If pre-cancerous polyps are removed, colon cancer can be prevented. And if this disease is found and treated at an early stage, the five-year survival rate is 90 percent.
Personal risk for colon cancer varies. If you can answer yes to any of the following questions, you are at increased risk for colon cancer.
- Are you 50 or older?
- Are you African American or Ashkenazi Jewish heritage?
- Has a doctor ever told you that you have inflammatory bowel disease, ulcerative colitis, or Crohn’s disease?
- Has one of your parents or your brother, sister or child had colon cancer or colon polyps?
- Do you smoke or use other tobacco products?
- Are you physically inactive- not getting regular exercise?
- Do you often eat red meat?
Your physician can help you make an informed decision about the best testing method for you. The American Cancer Society recommends one of these five testing options for all people beginning at age 50.
- Yearly fecal occult blood test (FOBT)
- Flexible sigmoidoscopy every five years
- Yearly FOBT and flexible sigmoidoscopy every five years
- Double contrast barium enema every five years
- Colonoscopy every 5-10 years
Facts and Figures
- Colon cancer is the second leading cancer killer in America, but the great news is that colon testing can save your life, and even prevent colon cancer.
- Colon Cancer is most common in men and women over age 50.
- African Americans and Ashkenazi Jews develop colon cancer more often.