Colon Cancer Screening and Prevention in Texas

In the U.S., colon cancer takes the second position when it comes to the causes of cancer death. This cancer type affects both men and women, with over 140,000 cases diagnosed annually. About 50,000 persons die from colorectal cancer. Nevertheless, what is encouraging is that early screening, detection and treatment of the cancer increases the survival rate. Besides, death due to colon cancer has reduced by approximately 3 percent a year ever since 1998.

Colon Cancer Screening

Screenings can help detect polyps even before they become cancerous. One should start having screenings at the age of 50, but if you have any high risk factors of colon cancer, it is recommended the screenings start earlier. The procedures for screenings and diagnosis include:

  • Colonoscopy
  • Barium Enema
  • Flexible Sigmoidoscopy
  • Stool blood test

Colon Cancer Risk Factors

The chances of someone developing colon cancer depend on both environmental and genetic factors.

  • Genetic factors – Those with a family history of colorectal cancer have a high risk of getting disease.
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
  • Obesity
  • Dietary factors especially alcohol and red meat
  • Smoking

Prevention

While we may not completely remove our risk of developing colon cancer, we can take some steps to reduce the risk:

  • Diet – A diet rich in vegetables, fruits, and whole grains will not only reduce the risk of colon cancer, but it will also provide you with additional health benefits. On the other hand, moderate the consumption of red meat and alcohol.
  • Exercise- Studies show that regular physical exercise tends to reduce colon cancer risk. You don’t necessarily have to hit the gym, but walking 20 – 30 minutes daily is also good.
  • Calcium – A study showed that patients taking about 1200 mg of calcium on a daily basis demonstrated a 20 percent decrease in colorectal adenoma formation, and a 45 percent decrease in advanced adenoma formation. And according to physicians, reducing the adenoma formation leads to a decline in cancer rates. You can consume calcium rich foods or supplements. Foods rich in calcium include raw milk, yogurt, kale, cheese, okra, almonds, sardines, broccoli, and more.
  • Vitamin D – Results from two major studies: The Nurses’ Health Study and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study showed that people with higher levels of vitamin D in their blood have a lower risk of developing colon cancer. Vitamin D comes from dietary supplements as well as from foods, such as cereal, fortified milk, fish (tuna, salmon, and mackerel), and sunlight.

Most importantly, screening is essential for early detection and prevention of colon cancer.

 

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