People above the age of 50 years have been advised to go for colon cancer screening every 10 years to forestall developing colon cancer. African-Americans are advised to do the screening from age 45 years above. While people with a family history of colon cancer are advised to begin the screening at a much earlier age - since the earlier colon cancer is discovered, the easier it is to remove its tumor.
This advice was given by Dr. Alan Thorson, a colon and rectal surgeon at Colon and Rectal Surgery Inc. and the Colonoscopy Center Inc. Dr. Thorson is also a founding member of the Great Plains Colon Cancer Task Force in Nebraska, Omaha. More advice about screening for colon cancer is however published in the Guidelines of the American College of Gastroenterology.
How screening for colon cancer is done
According to Dr. Thorson, there are several ways doctors screen and diagnose colon cancer. They however usually use colonoscopy to see through into the large intestines where growing polyps or clusters of cancer cells can be found in patients. Colon cancer forms within the large intestine when its cells become dysfunctional and damaged, causing them to aggregate into a lump or tumor that can be scanned to reveal a growing cancer in the colon. These growing tumors can be removed quite easily if presented in time.
The patient must be well prepared a few days before the surgery is billed to take place. And just a day before, the patient is made to consume a liquid solution that flushes out his intestines and makes his colon clean and clear. Doctors can then insert the colonoscopy into the colon where its tiny camera picks up polyps or tiny lumps of growing cancer tumor.
40,000 Americans expected to die from colon cancer this year
According to the American Cancer Society, 96,000 new colon cancer cases are expected to be diagnosed in 2017 with 400,000 patients dying from the disease, Omaha World-Herald reported. Dr. Thorson also estimated that about 840 people in Nebraska might be newly diagnosed for colon cancer this year with about 330 among these succumbing to the disease. He however noted that public awareness campaigns have been driving down new incidences of colon cancer among the people.
Dr. Dustin Case, a gastroenterologist at Mount Nittany Physician Group stated that colorectal cancers produce no symptoms and this is the more reason screening should be done every 10 years. He added that it is however best to confirm from a doctor if you experience abdominal pain, notice blood in stool, and see a change in your bowel habits, Center Daily Times reports. He also said it is best for other family members to go for tests once a family member is diagnosed with colon cancer.