Dr. Brian Haney is treating colon cancer for Kit Pfeiffer, of Whitefield, using immunotherapy.
Regular screening is one of the most powerful weapons against colon or rectal cancer (together, known as colorectal cancer).
Screening can find cancer early, when it's small and hasn't spread, which can give your doctor more treatment options. Screening can even prevent cancer, because it can find precancerous polyps and remove them on the spot before they become a problem.
A colonoscopy is still the most common type of screening, but is not the only option.
The following tests have the advantage of finding both colorectal polyps and cancer:
These tests mainly find cancer, but not polyps:
Learn about the pros and cons of all of these options here or ask your doctor about when and how you should start getting regular colon cancer screenings.
If a screening ever does find colorectal cancer in you or a loved one, the good news is that it is eminently treatable: more than a million Americans count themselves as survivors. Ask for a referral to one of our colon cancer specialists as soon as possible, because starting treatment early is vital to achieving our number one goal: the best outcome for every patient.
Researchers have found several risk factors that might increase a person's chance of developing colon cancer; others, like your family history, can't be changed.
Below are brief summaries of these risk factors; for complete information, click here, or talk to your doctor.
Risk factors you can change:
The links to colon cancer of diet, weight, and exercise are among the strongest for any type of cancer.
Risk factors you can't change:
About 5% of people who develop colorectal cancer have inherited gene changes (mutations) that cause family cancer syndromes and can lead to them getting the disease.
Talk to your NECS doctor about whether genetic counseling services are appropriate for you.
Colon cancer is the second leading killer among all cancers that affect both men and women. It's serious, so don't wait for symptoms to get screened—especially if you're age 50 or older, and even if you have no family history of cancer!