Colon Cancer Prevention

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Colon cancer prevention facts

  • Colon cancers may be both curable and preventable if detected early and treated.
  • Screening for colon cancer in asymptomatic people is recommended to begin at age 50.
  • Risk factors for colorectal cancers include a family history of colorectal cancer, genetic factors and certain lifestyle choices.
  • Colonoscopy and flexible sigmoidoscopy may treat and/or prevent colorectal cancers safely and effectively; the new Cologuard test also may detect early precancerous and/or cancers of the colon safely and effectively, and thus allow invasive colonoscopy to become more of a treatment modality instead of a "test and treat if necessary procedure."
  • Treatments of patients to prevent colorectal cancer that may be effective in some individuals but may have long-term adverse side effects include any NSIAD therapy.
  • The use of two antioxidants, vitamins A and C, are apparently ineffective in reducing the incidence of colorectal cancer.
  • People with hereditary colon cancer syndromes should consider genetic testing
  • Genetic testing and counseling can help determine the possibility of early-onset of colorectal cancers and allow early treatments.
  • Lifestyle changes (high fruit/fiber diet, no smoking, weight loss, screening and genetic testing in some individuals) may help reduce and/or possibly even prevent some people from developing colorectal cancers.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 8/14/2014

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Colon Cancer Prevention - Experience Question: Please share your experience with colon cancer prevention and screening.
Colon Cancer Prevention - Genetic Counceling Question: Have you been through genetic counseling for colon cancer? If so, please share your experience.
Colon Cancer Prevention - Screening Question: Do you have any risk factors for colon cancer? If so, please share your experience and any prevention methods you have used to prevent the disease.

Colon Cancer Screening And Surveillance

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.