Colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States.
- Everyone age 50 and older is at risk for colon cancer
- It affects men and women equally
If you are age 50 or older, it is recommended that you have colon cancer screening (such as colonoscopy), to detect polyps and early cancers that can be treated before symptoms develop. Regular screening for and removal of polyps can reduce a person’s risk of developing colorectal cancer by up to 90%. People with a family history of polyps or colon cancer need to undergo colon cancer screening earlier than age 50, and this should be discussed with your physician.
Colon cancer usually begins as a colon polyp (an abnormal tissue growth in the colon), which generally cause no symptoms. Approximately 40% of people over the age of 50 have colon polyps. The removal of polyps is painless and can be accomplished at the time of colon cancer screening. In addition, early cancer has no symptoms. That’s why colon cancer screening is so important, so detection can be made while it is in the curable stages. Unfortunately, we have found colon cancer in people even in their early sixties, who had put off appropriate timely screening.
Our group recommends colonoscopy for colon cancer screening. Colonoscopy is essentially painless and is performed with the use of short acting sedation, which allows you to basically sleep through the test. It allows examination of the entire colon (the large intestine) and removal of colon polyps. We perform this procedure daily in our private and quiet endoscopy center (Augusta Endoscopy Center).
We want you to live a long healthy life, especially without a preventable disease like colon cancer. If you are age 50 or older or have a family history of colon cancer, you should urgently discuss colon cancer screening with your primary care physician or call our office for more information.