Dr. Lee was born in Shanghai, China, and received his college and medical training in the United States. He is fluent in English and three Chinese dialects. He graduated with chemistry departmental honors from Harvey Mudd College. He was appointed president of AOA society at UCLA School of Medicine. He underwent internal medicine residency and gastroenterology fellowship training at Cedars Sinai Medical Center.
Jay W. Marks, MD, is a board-certified internist and gastroenterologist. He graduated from Yale University School of Medicine and trained in internal medicine and gastroenterology at UCLA/Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.
Cancer of the colon and the rectum (also known as colon cancer or colorectal cancer) is a malignant growth arising from the inner lining of the colon or rectum.
Colorectal cancer is the third leading cause of cancer for both sexes in the
United States. The American Cancer Society in their 2014 Cancer Facts and
Figures report estimates that more than 135,000 cases will be diagnosed in 2014
and at least 50,000 deaths due to colorectal cancer will occur in 2014.
cancer is a major cause of cancer-related deaths among men and women in the United States.
The good news is that colorectal cancer is both curable and preventable if it is detected early and completely removed before the cancerous cells metastasize (spread) to other parts of the body.
colorectal cancer can be prevented by removing colorectal polyps before they grow and change into cancers, or by using natural substances or man-made chemicals to prevent the
colorectal polyps from changing into cancer. (Using natural substances or chemicals to prevent cancer is called chemoprevention).
Measures to prevent diseases usually fall into one of five categories of safety and effectiveness. These categories are:
Measures that have scientifically-proven effectiveness and long-term safety
Measures that probably are effective but may have long-term, adverse side effects
Measures that probably are effective, and safe
Measures that have been found to be ineffective
Measures that have no scientific basis and no studies to measure effectiveness and safety
What measures to prevent
colorectal cancer have proven effectiveness and long term safety?
Colonoscopy and flexible sigmoidoscopy (along with digital rectal examination and stool occult blood testing) are the primary and most important tools for both preventing
colorectal cancers and detecting early colorectal cancers.
Most colorectal cancers arise from colorectal polyps (small growths on the inner lining of the colon and the rectum). Even though
colorectal polyps are initially benign, they can grow and change into colorectal cancers over a period of time ranging from five to twenty years. A large study that was conducted in several research centers in the United States showed that patients who had their polyps removed (usually via colonoscopy) had a 90% decrease in
Screening recommendations for individuals with average risk of colon cancer
The life-time risk for an adult American to develop colorectal cancer is approximately 6%. Fecal occult blood tests and flexible sigmoidoscopic examinations are the recommended screening tests for these individuals at average risk for developing colorectal cancer.