Colorectal cancer prevention, diagnosis, and treatment

Written by  Facing Cancer Together
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(Chester, PA) -- The National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health estimates that more than 50,000 Americans will die from colorectal cancer this year, and another 143,000 cases are expected to be diagnosed. March also marks National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month.

As part of our multimedia Facing Cancer Together project, witf's Megan Lello spoke with Dr. Immanuel Ho, chief of gastroenterology at Crozer-Chester Medical Center in Chester, Delaware County, about colorectal cancer prevention, diagnosis, and treatment:

cancer-scans-doctors-personalCancers of the colon and the rectum are the third most common cancer in US men and women.  The American Cancer Society estimates that 143,460 people will be diagnosed in 2012.  And, colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States- an estimated 51,690 will die from the disease.

But, there’s good news.

The rates of this disease have been decreasing steadily over the past 20 years due to cancer screenings that help to detect cancer early.  Caching it in an early stage increases the success of treatment.  

Learn about "The progress we've made: Fighting the 3 most common cancers," an Expert Journal blog titled by Lancaster General Health's  Dr. Wendy Chen.

Regular colorectal cancer screening, such as getting a colonoscopy, is also one of the most powerful weapons for preventing colorectal cancer in people who have no symptoms of the disease.  Why? Because during the cancer screening, doctors are able to remove small non-cancerous ployps from the colon before they have a chance to become cancerous,  Watch this video to learn how a colonoscopy can prevent colon cancer.   

Yet, only 4 out of every 10 adults will get screened for colon cancer.   Dr. Brooks, the director of prostate and colorectal cancers for the American Cancer Society shares a list of common colon cancer screening "Myths & Excuses."

colon-polypOver 50 and haven't been to the doctor for your screening this year?  What's your excuse?

Related stories, information and resources about colon cancer:

Check out the "Screen My Colon" animation and share it with your family and friends as a reminder to get screened!

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