Importance of Screening for Colon Cancer
July 7, 2021
In Kentucky, colorectal cancer is the 2nd most common cause of cancer related death and over 2,500 cases of colorectal cancer are diagnosed in the Commonwealth each year.* But did you also now that when found early, colon cancer is almost 100% curative?
Doctors recommend screening for colon cancer as early as age 40 for any person with a first degree relative with colon cancer and 45 for anyone else not at increased risk of the disease. However, it is important to remember that colon cancer does not discriminate and can happen to men and women at any age.
There are several methods available for colon cancer screening, including colonoscopies.
“A colonoscopy is a vital screening method with potentially lifesaving benefits,” says Dr. James Smith, a general surgeon with Spring View Hospital. “Colonoscopies can improve our ability to detect colorectal cancer quickly and early, which makes this disease much more easily treatable. We recommend that everyone talk to their doctor about their colorectal cancer risks and discuss which tests could be right for them and the appropriate timing.”
In addition to regular screenings, you can also help prevent colon cancer by living a healthy lifestyle that includes daily exercise, a healthy diet, maintaining a healthy weight, limiting your alcohol intake and eliminating smoking. These practices can reduce your risk for colorectal and many other forms of cancer. Knowing your family’s medical history is also important – a history of the disease in your immediate family puts you at a higher risk for the disease.
Contact Spring View Hospital at 270-807-5852 or visit Springviewhospital.com/our-services/colonoscopy to learn more about colorectal cancer detection and prevention, and to schedule your colon cancer screening.
Colonoscopies are an easier procedure than many realize. Shortly before the procedure, you will likely be given pain medication and a sedative to minimize discomfort. During the approximately 30-minute procedure, any polyps found will be removed by the doctor, and tissue samples will be sent for a biopsy.
Keep in mind that you will be instructed to follow a special diet the day before your procedure and will need to have someone take you home afterward.
Dr. James Smith
*American Cancer Society