Fifty thousand people die in the United States each year from colon cancer and rectum cancers (also called colorectal cancer). Colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths.
That’s a shame, because nearly every death could be prevented with early detection. In almost all cases this disease is entirely treatable if caught early by colonoscopy.
Most colon cancers begin as benign polyps which, over a period of years, develop into cancers.
Factors that increase the risk of colon cancer are colorectal polyps, cancer elsewhere in the body, a family history of colon cancer, and ulcerative colitis.
With proper screening, colon cancer should be detected BEFORE the development of any symptoms, when it is most curable.
A physical examination rarely shows any abnormalities, although an abdominal mass may be present. A rectal examination may reveal a mass in patients with rectal cancer, but not colon cancer.
Removal of precancerous polyps by colonoscopy essentially prevents colon cancer. Any man or woman age 50 or over who has not had a colonoscopy should call his or her physician to schedule one.
So, yes, it’s a big problem.
And the only real protection is the colonoscopy.
The purpose of this website is to make colonoscopies more accessible and more comfortable, and to eliminate the process of subjecting patients to unnecessary pain.
Just because something is the standard medical practice of the day doesn’t make it right.
When you make your plan for getting a colonoscopy, plan it right.