blessed are Those
who have not seen
yet have Believed
John 20:29 NKJV
Colon Cancer Series
Colon cancer is the leading cause of cancer related death amongst men and women in the United States. Colon cancer is a disease that is largely preventable, but many Americans die from this disease each year. During this series we will find out why an once of prevention is worth a pound to cure for colon cancer.
Colon Cancer Prevention
Is Stage 4 Colon Cancer Curable?
We know that finding colon cancer at an early stage when it is most treatable can drastically improve survival rates. Prevention and screening are the best ways to fight colon cancer. If colon cancer is discovered when it has spread to other organs and parts of the body, this is called stage 4 metastatic colon cancer. This is the most advanced stage of colon cancer. Surgery and chemotherapy are needed to fight colon cancer at this stage. There is a sinking question: Is stage 4 colon cancer considered curable? The answer is yes! Let’s find out why.
What are the Treatments for Colon Cancer?
If you have been diagnosed with colon cancer, it is important to know your treatment options. Some early-stage colon cancer can be treated with surgery alone without the need for chemotherapy. When colon cancer has been given time to grow, surgery and chemotherapy can be needed. The treatment course depends on the stage of your disease. There are 4 stages of colon cancer. With each stage we will discuss the treatment course. Let’s find out more about each stage of colon cancer and how it is treated.
Virtual Colonoscopy - What is the Catch?
We have discussed many options for colon cancer screening including the FIT (Fecal Immunochemical Test), Stool DNA test (Cologuard by trade name) and colonoscopy, which is considered the gold standard for detecting colon cancer. There is another option for colon cancer screening called a CT colonoscopy. Another name for CT colonoscopy is “virtual colonoscopy.” Let’s find out more about this virtual colonoscopy and whether this test is right for you.
How Should I Prepare for My Colonoscopy?
If you have decided to undergo a colonoscopy, congratulations! You have made an important decision to change the trajectory of your health and prevent a deadly cancer from affecting your life and those around you. In preparation for your colonoscopy, there are some changes to you diet and medications that should be held prior undergoing a colonoscopy. You doctor will provide both written and verbal instructions of the things change. A week before your colonoscopy, make sure read the instructions at least twice. Let’s find our more about what things will look like before and after your colonoscopy.
Colonoscopy - The Gold Standard
One of the pitfalls of the FIT and multitarget DNA test (trade name Cologuard) is the inability to find polyps. A poly is a small growth on a stalk. Think of a skin tag in your colon. Some polyps are harmless. Others have malignant potential. Polyps that can turn into cancer are called adenomas. An adenoma is the middleman of cancer. As we wrap up our discussion on screening tests we will take closer look at a gold standard, the colonoscopy, which is critical for finding and removing polyps and adenomas.
Is the Cologuard Stool DNA Test Right for Me?
Having a realization that colon cancer is a serious disease that is largely preventable is half the battle. Once you make the commitment to be tested for colon cancer, there is another challenge to determine which test is best for you. As we continue our discussion of colon cancer tests, we will take a closer look at a test that can pick up cancer DNA in your stool. This is called a multitarget stool DNA test, but it is also known as Cologuard, which is the trade name.
Is the FIT Card Right for Me?
Having a realization that colon cancer is a serious disease that is preventable is half the battle. Once you make the commitment to be tested for colon cancer, there is another challenge to determine which test is best for you. Some tests can detect early-stage disease, while others can find pre-cancers. For this discussion, let’s find out more FIT stool blood card.
Colon Cancer Symptoms
Before we begin our discussion on the symptoms of colon cancer, it is important to realize that it is our goal to detect colon cancer before symptoms develop. When we begin to have symptoms of colon cancer. This is why it is extremely important that you have a colonoscopy to detect cancer before it develops. With that being said, it is important to know the most common symptoms of colon as a means to uncover this diagnosis in those who have not had a colonoscopy. Colon cancer symptoms include changes in the way someone passes their stool, abdominal pain, anemia or weight loss. At other times, one may have no symptoms at all. Let’s find out more about the symptoms of colon cancer.
How Can I Lower My Risk of Colon Cancer?
There are a number of characteristics about ourselves and choices we can make that place us at a higher risk for colon cancer. As with many cancers, some factors, such as eating a healthy diet, controlling diabetes and becoming more active, are under our control and influenced by the decisions we make. These are called modifiable risk factors. By knowing the risks we can control, we are better able to make lifestyle choices that can keep colon cancer at bay. Let’s find out more about some of the things we can do to lower our risk of colon cancer.
When Should I Get a Colonoscopy?
There are a number of characteristics about ourselves and choices we can make that place us at a higher risk for colon cancer. As with many cancers, some of these characteristics, such as our age and gender, are not under our control. These are called non-modifiable risk factors. By knowing the risk we cannot control, one can discover the need for colon cancer tests at an earlier age. Let’s find out more about these risks and how it can change the way we think about the timing of colon cancer tests.
What Causes Colon Cancer?
While there are several lifestyle factors that play a role in the genesis of colon cancer, there are a series of stepwise genetic mutations that lead to this disease. Generally speaking, colon cancer develops over a long period of time. Most times we can catch colon cancer before it develops with various screening measures, including a colonoscopy. Let’s find out why colon cancer takes so long to develop and how we can use this to our advantage.
Colon Cancer Facts
As we begin our colon cancer series, I would like to share some interesting facts about colon cancer. Colon cancer is the third most common cancer in the United States. Colon cancer is also the second most common cause of cancer related death in the United States. About 140 men and women are expected to die from colon cancer every day.
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