Colon cancer: Preventable

Mar 27, 2019

This year, an estimated 140,250 cases of colorectal cancer will make this the third most common cancer in men and women in the U.S and the second leading cause of cancer death.

In the last 10 years, preventive medicine in the U.S. has helped colon cancer rates drop by 30 percent in adults ages 50 and older due to an increase in colonoscopy screenings. A colonoscopy can detect and remove precancerous growths as well as detect cancer at an early stage.

It is common for adults to put off a colonoscopy. Dr. Rick Binder, an FCN physician, starts talking to his patients in their late 40s about scheduling a colonoscopy when they turn 50. “Persistence with a smile,” helped Dr. Binder ensure his patients were following through on their screenings.

The best time to begin screening is at age 50 because the majority of men and women diagnosed with colon cancer are older than 50. A clear colonoscopy typically means patients can wait 10 years before repeating the test.

Apart from scheduling your colonoscopy screening, it’s important to understand the risk factors for colon cancer and other preventive steps you can take to maintain your health.

Recently, 25 percent of people diagnosed with colon cancer had a family history that put them at a higher risk for developing it. Talk to your doctor about your family history so they can help you take preventive action.

Healthy lifestyle choices are also important for preventive health and can be practiced every day.

A healthy diet of fruits, vegetables and whole grains combined with regular exercise increases your body’s ability to maintain an optimal level of health. Plus, limiting consumption of alcohol and not smoking reduces your risk of developing cancer significantly.

If you’re age 50 or above, take preventive action with your colon health. Contact your doctor today to discuss your colon cancer screening options.

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