Colon Cancer Screening in NYC
What is colorectal cancer?
One of the most common types of cancer in men and women, along with skin, breast, lung, and prostate cancer, is colorectal cancer. This kind of cancer is also the second highest cause of death due to cancer within the U.S. While the rate of death due to colorectal cancer has decreased substantially in America, there are still over 145,000 cases that are found each year.
What causes colorectal cancer?
The specific cause of colorectal cancer is currently unknown, however, there are studies that point to certain factors that may increase the chances of developing the condition. These include:
- Age – People who are over the age of 50 have a higher likelihood of developing this kind of cancer than younger people.
- Personal medical history – Those who have previously had colorectal cancer are more likely to develop the condition a second time in life. Additionally, those who have suffered another type of cancer may also have a higher risk of developing this kind of cancer.
- Family medical history – If you have parents, siblings, and other close relatives have colorectal cancer, it may increase your risk of developing the condition.
- Smoking – There are studies that suggest smoking cigarettes may increase your risk of colorectal cancer, especially when smoking is done for a long period of time.
- Diet – Your diet may contribute to the development of colorectal cancer if you consume a high amount of processed meat or red meat as well as a low amount of whole grains, vegetables, and fruits.
- Exercise – Evidence has suggested that being overweight or inactive may be associated with developing this type of cancer.
- Polyps – Polyps, or abnormal growths lining the wall of the colon or rectum, may increase your risk of developing colorectal cancer.
- Ulcerative colitis / Crohn’s colitis – Those who have ulcerative colitis or Chron’s colitis have a higher risk of developing colorectal cancer.
How is colorectal cancer diagnosed?
Colorectal cancer is diagnosed through regular cancer screenings, which can detect certain cancers, polyps, lesions, and other rectal conditions. The best way to prevent this kind of cancer is by undergoing regular screenings and catching cancer early on, especially for those who have one or more of the above-listed risk factors for colorectal cancer. The below screening tests are often used for colorectal cancer screening:
- Flexible sigmoidoscopy
- Fecal occult blood test (FOBT)
- Virtual colonoscopy
- Double-contrast barium enema
Speak with your doctor to learn more about when you should begin having colorectal cancer screenings, the benefits and potential risks involved, and how often you should undergo screenings.