Colon cancer is the second-deadliest form of cancer in the U.S., yet it doesn’t have to be. More than 90 percent of colon cancer cases are curable if caught in their early stages.
In an effort to showcase the important message that screening equals prevention when dealing with colon cancer, an awareness campaign called Stop Colon Cancer Now, and powered by AmSurg, aims to educate the public about early detection and prevention of the disease, to eliminate the stigma associated with colonoscopies and to increase regular screenings for people over 50 and for other groups at added risk for the disease.
The risk of a person having colorectal cancer in his/her lifetime is about 1 in 19. Almost 75 percent of colon cancer cases have no prior family history and most have no symptoms. Scientists are still unsure of exactly what causes colon and colorectal cancer, but some risk factors have been identified, including a high-fat diet, diabetes, smoking, alcohol, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease and other inflammatory bowel diseases.
Americans continue to battle this disease at alarming rates with 49,920 reported deaths in the U.S. in 2009. It is important to understand who is at risk, and what the available prevention methods are, to eliminate the onset of colon cancer.
Colon cancer indiscriminately affects people regardless of race, sex, economic status or geography. There often are no symptoms. It is important to get screened if you are:
• 45 and older and African-American
• 50 or older
• 40 or older and have a family history of polyps or colon or rectal cancer
• Have a history of cancer or polyps found earlier
The easiest way to prevent colon cancer is to schedule a colonoscopy. A colonoscopy is a painless screening test that provides important information about your digestive health. For most patients, a colon cancer screening does not have to be performed at a hospital. Today, many outpatient centers provide screenings by highly skilled physicians in a more relaxed, personal environment and usually with much lower out-of pocket costs for the patient.
No matter where you live or work, stopcoloncancernow.com provides valuable education, colon cancer screening options, screening locations, insightful patient stories and more.
Additional information on colon cancer and prevention methods can be found online at www.stopcoloncancernow.com.