During the awareness month of March, many organizations and the media pay added attention to issues related to colorectal cancer. At MNGI Digestive Health, we are committed to increasing the level of understanding throughout the entire year.
The American Cancer Society reports that there is a 5-year relative survival rate of 90% when colorectal cancer is found at an early stage before it has spread. Unfortunately, only about 4 out of 10 colorectal cancers are currently found at this early stage.
Preventative visits through regular colorectal cancer screenings are the key to changing this statistic and ensuring the long-term health of your colon. While there are different tests to screen for colorectal cancer, there is only one test that can actually prevent the cancer at the same time: colonoscopy. In fact, colonoscopies are considered the gold standard and best option for screening, being the most thorough and providing the most accurate results.
It is quite common to find a polyp or two in a routine colonoscopy. They are not always a threat, but it is only through this procedure that they can be removed and sent to a lab for testing. With polyps sometimes taking up to 15 years to develop into cancer, patients leave our offices with some peace of mind after a colonoscopy, knowing they have significantly reduced their risk.
Did you know that colorectal cancer was preventable? Are you looking to get a head start on that prevention in all possible ways? In addition to knowing your risk factors, the best place to start is with a healthy lifestyle. Our recommendations include reducing red meat consumption, eating enough fruits and vegetables, maintaining adequate calcium, Vitamin D, and folic acid levels, and exercising regularly.
You’ll also want to schedule your colonoscopy appointment once you reach the age of 45 (unless you have a family history and need to be seen earlier) and then follow up as recommended depending on your results.
Check out our website for more information: https://www.mngi.com/conditions/colon-cancer-prevention