History of Colorectal Cancer
Cancer of the colon, rectum or bowel, otherwise known as colorectal cancer, is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States. The National Colorectal Cancer Research Alliance reports that over 90% of colorectal cancer cases can be cured when detected early.
Colorectal cancer is preventable through regular testing and through the removal of polyps (adenomas) in the colon, which often grow into cancerous tumors.
Symptoms of Colorectal Cancer
- A persistent change in bowel habits
- Blood in the stool or rectal bleeding
- Abdominal pain
- Weight loss
- Tiredness or anemia
Colonoscopy - The best and most comprehensive weapon against colorectal cancer. The colonoscopy procedure both detects and prevents the disease, through removal of pre-cancerous colon polyps.
Double Contrast Barium Enema - A radiological procedure recommended every 5-10 years to detect the presence of large polyps and cancers.
Sigmoidoscopy - A 10-minute outpatient procedure every 5 years to examine the lower third of the colon.
Fecal Occult Blood Test (FOBT) - Taken in the privacy of your own home, and mailed to a lab for testing, this test examines a smear sample of your stool (feces) for hidden blood - a sign of possible colorectal cancer. It should be done every year.