Did you know that colorectal cancer is preventable, treatable and beatable?
So why is it the third most common cancer diagnosed in men and women in
the US and the third leading cause of cancer death for men and women?
“Individuals aren’t participating in the preventative screenings
recommended by the American Cancer Society,” said Peggy Messick,
RN, BSN, OCN, Disease Prevention Specialist at The Health First Center.
According to the American Cancer Society,screening has the potential to prevent colorectal cancer because it can
detect precancerous growths, called polyps, in the colon and rectum. Although
most polyps will not become cancerous, removing them can prevent cancer
from occurring. Furthermore, regular screening increases the likelihood
that colorectal cancers that do develop will be detected at an early stage,
when they are more likely to be cured, treatment is less extensive, and
recovery is faster.
Both men and women can get colorectal cancer, however some circumstances
put an individual at a higher risk. Incidence and mortality rates are
about 30% to 40% higher in men than in women and more than 90% of colorectal
cancers occur in people ages 50 and older. The American College of Gastroenterology
(ACG) says colonoscopy is the preferred colorectal cancer prevention test,
and annual fecal immunochemical testing is the preferred colorectal cancer
detection test. ACG recommends colonoscopy every ten years starting at
age 50, and age 45 for African Americans. Family history and other risk
factors may indicate a need for earlier testing.
Tests that detect polyps and cancer:
every 10 years (Read about “Colonoscopy“)
every 5 years (Read about “Flexible Sigmoidoscopy“)
Double contrast barium enema (DCBE)
every 5 years
CT colonography (CTC)
every 5 years (Read about “CT Scan – Computerized Tomography“)
- Tests that primarily detect cancer:
- Annual guaiac-based fecal occult blood test (gFOBT) with high test sensitivity
- Annual fecal immunochemical test (FIT) with high test sensitivity for cancer
- Stool DNA test (sDNA), with high sensitivity for cancer, interval uncertain
- As with so many other types of cancer, early detection can increase your
chances of surviving colorectal cancer.
The Health First Center encourages men and women to become familiar with
the health screenings and immunizations that are important to maintaining
health as we age. Our Health First Center offers free screenings for common
health concerns, such as cholesterol, hearing and others. Check our Calendar
of Events for upcoming screenings; most are offered free of charge, and
some may require appointments or fasting. Health First Center is located
on the first floor of Valley Hills Mall in Hickory.