Colon cancer occurs in the bowel, colon and rectum, and is the second most common type of terminal cancer in the United States. With regular screening, the illness can be avoided as there are signs in the form of small growths, referred to as polyps which appear in the colon. How can the disease be detected? Through the use of regular screening, cancer of the colon can be detected using diagnostic tests. To prevent the instances of the sickness, the removal of
What are the risk factors for the sickness? The disease is more prevalent and patients are at a higher risk if there is a family history of the disease. Those without a family history, but over the age of fifty should receive annual colon cancer screening. Nine out of ten patients who are diagnosed with the long illness are aged fifty and over. For men, the chances of developing the illness are one in seventeen, for women, this number decreases to chances of one in seventeen. What types of tests are available for colon cancer screening? Diagnostic tests such as a colonoscopy or barium enema are recommended for patients every five to ten years, combined with an occult stool sample test completed on an annual basis. It is important that anyone in remission from the disease, or who has symptoms in the past have yearly screening for colon cancer. Early detection is essential in diagnosis and effective treatment. Other risk factors include those who have suffered from inflammatory bowel disease in the past, or those who have evidence of
Interestingly enough, African Americans have higher instances of the illness than other races. It is important to screen at the age of forty-five, rather than age of fifty – to ensure that the cancer is detected and treated early enough. A colonoscopy is recommended as cases are predominantly in the upper portion of the colon, other tests may find this difficult to diagnose.