- Third most common cancer.
- #2 cancer killer in the USA.
- 56,000 deaths annually.
- Occurs in all races and equal in men and women.
- PREVENTABLE THROUGH SCREENING.
Colo-rectal cancer refers to occurrence of cancerous tumors in the large intestine. It is most common after 50 years of age but can occur at a younger age. The risk is equal in men and women.
Most colo-rectal cancers develop from abnormal growths in the large intestine that are known as polyps. However not all polyps lead to colon cancer. In a few patients with inflammatory bowel disease the cancer can arise from dysplastic mucosa rather then polyps. It is now believed that it could take up to 10 years for these polyps to turn into cancer. Thus by screening we can detect these polyps and, if found, they can easily be removed essentially preventing cancer from developing.
With the exception of patients with inflammatory bowel disease, it would be true to state:
“No Polyps, No colo-rectal Cancer”
This is powerful tool to prevent colo-rectal cancer. For example say that a patient develops colon cancer at the age of 60 years. It is very likely that he had polyps that started developing at the age of 50 years. So if we had done a colonoscopy on this patient earlier at the age of 50-52 years then we would have detected the polyps and removing them would have prevented the cancer.Page 1 | Page 2 | Page 3