Lowdown on the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of colorectal cancer

It’s Colorectal Cancer Awareness month.

Colon cancer is the second cause of cancer deaths in America.

Colon and rectal cancer is a leading cause of death, yet, a colonoscopy reduces risk of getting it and allows for an early diagnosis.

Assistant professor of surgery at McGovern Medical School at UTHealth and UT Physicians Colon and Rectal Clinic of Houston Dr. Bidan Das said colonoscopies are the only diagnostic test out there that prevents cancer.

“Colonoscopy is the single best test for not only detecting cancer, it’s about preventing cancer,” said Das. “When you find something like a polyp and I remove it, that polyp never gets to grow to be a cancer.”

The American Cancer Society has moved screening age from 50 to 45 for both men and women.

“Whether you’re 50 or 45, I want you to go see you doctor and set up a colonoscopy,” said Das. “We used to think it was only for adults at 50. We now known from looking at some data, that even adults at the age of 45 would be excellent candidates for colonoscopy.”

The American Society of Gastroenterology has moved its screening age to 45 for African Americans.

Colon cancer can occur in younger people and is happening more nowadays.

If you notice any changes in your bowel movements, see your doctor immediately.

Symptoms include blood in stool or excessive bloating and cramping.

“Colonoscopy is not just about finding a cancer early, it can also prevent you from having a cancer by removing those growths that would ultimately become cancer,” said Das.

Fight Colorectal Cancer: One Million Strong Raising Awareness For Prevention

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