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Health Minute: Colorectal Cancer

By: Claude

March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness month. About 1 in 10 colorectal cancer diagnoses occur in both, men and women under the age of 50. Avni Jain, MD, a family medicine physician with Adventist Medical Group highlights colorectal cancer risk factors and the importance screening.

Colorectal cancer is cancer of the colon or rectum and is often referred to as colon cancer. Cancer occurs when cells start growing out of control. Often times the cancer can start as a little clump of cells called polyps and overtime turn cancerous. This is why routine screening is so important.

The American Cancer Society recommends men and women start colorectal cancer screenings at the age of 45. There are various types of screenings your doctor may recommend. The most common is a colonoscopy which is done about every ten years unless otherwise recommended by your doctor. There are also stool based screenings that you can do at home once a year.

Depending on your family history and risk factors, your doctor may recommend screening earlier or more often. It’s especially important to have the conversation about when to start screening with your doctor if you have any of the following risk factors:

o Family or personal history of colon cancer or polyps

o Personal history of inflammatory bowel disease including Ulcerative Colitis or Chron’s disease

o Genetic syndromes

o History of radiation to the stomach or pelvic area to treat a prior cancer

Early detection is the best protection. Talk with your doctor about colorectal cancer screening today and learn your risk for colorectal cancer by taking our risk assessment at AdventistHealthCare.com/LivingWell.

HealthMinute Web What is colorectal cancer