Colorectal cancer is the second leading cancer killer in the United States. It is cancer that occurs in the colon or rectum. The colon is the large intestine or large bowel. The rectum is the passageway that connects the colon to the anus. Any adult can have colon cancer, but most colon cancers are found in people 50 and older.
Who is at risk?
Any adult can have colon cancer, but most colon cancers are found in people 50 and older. People with a personal or family history of colon cancer or those with polyps in the colon or rectum or with inflammatory bowel disease are at risk to have colon cancer. Also, eating a diet mostly of high-fat foods (especially from animal sources), being overweight, smoking, and being inactive can make a person more likely to have colon cancer.
If everybody age 50 or older had regular screening tests, at least 60 percent of deaths from this cancer could be avoided (Center for Disease Control and Prevention). So if you are 50 or older, start screening now.
Colon Cancer Screenings
Getting a screening test for colorectal cancer could save your life. OSF Little Company of Mary physicians pride themselves on their relentless pursuit of early detection of colon cancer. Colon cancer almost always starts with a polyp. Testing saves lives by finding polyps before they become cancerous. If precancerous polyps are removed, colon cancer can be prevented.
There are several testing options recommended for all people beginning at age 50, most notably, a colonoscopy. Preparation for a colonoscopy typically requires flushing or cleansing of the colon so the physician can perform the examination. Several options exist to prepare for an examination. Talk with your physician and ask about what option is right for you.
A colonoscopy is a procedure performed by a gastroenterologist or surgeon that takes about 30 minutes while under sedation. The physician uses a flexible tube the width of a finger to enter and examine the inside of the colon. A tiny video camera then sends images to a television monitor to assist the physician in detecting polyps, growths and other abnormalities. The examining OSF Little Company of Mary physician will discuss your results and send a detailed report of the findings within 24 hours to your primary care physician. The physician also will recommend timing for follow-up colonoscopies.
Advanced Colon Care Technology
Colon screenings play a significant role in identifying a course of action for patients with colon cancer. Advanced diagnostic technology and procedures allow OSF Little Company of Mary physicians to tailor treatment options for each patient. OSF Little Company of Mary has a wide array of technologies to choose from when working with patients. Procedures such as our Endoscopic ultrasounds are just another way we use tools to diagnose and treat patients.
Are you at risk for Colorectal Cancer?
Learn when you should be tested for colorectal cancer using this Health Risk Assessment (HRA) tool.
An HRA is a questionnaire to estimate your personal health risk and identify what your risk factors may be for a certain condition, illness or disease.