March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month
Did you know that colorectal cancer is the 4th most common cancer in the United States? it is the second most deadly cancer, estimated to kill over 50,000 people in this country every year. In 2016 alone, it is estimated there will be approximately 134,490 new cases of this devastating disease. It affects people of all races, both men and women, and mostly affects people over the age of 50.
On the bright side, 6 out of 10 deaths from this disease could be prevented with proper screening?
Colon and rectal cancer most commonly start as clumps of benign cells called polyps. Catching polyps in the colon or the rectum before they develop into cancer is vital to staying healthy. Regular screenings can detect these polyps. It is recommended that you get screened at age 50 and again once every ten years. It is important to catch the cancer as early as possible to maximize your chances of survival.
The most common and effective method of screening for colorectal cancer is colonoscopy. If any polyps are found during the examination, your doctor can remove them at that time, without the need for a surgical procedure. The screening itself becomes a preventative method.
It is thought that a healthy diet with fruits and vegetables may help prevent developing cancer. Exercise may also help fend it off, giving you yet another reason to keep to a regular fitness routine.
If you are over 50 and have not been screened for colorectal cancer recently, make an appointment with a gastroenterologist today. If you are in the Los Angeles area, Dr. Davidson can help you stay healthy and avoid this devastating disease with a simple test.