The best way to prevent colorectal cancer

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Image by marijana1 from Pixabay 
By Paul Rodgers

Most colorectal cancer is considered sporadic, meaning it occurs in people with no family history of the disease. So, we can blame a lot of things on our family, but usually colorectal cancer isn't one of them. It is more likely to occur as people get older. In general, both men and women at average risk of colorectal cancer should begin screening tests at age 50.

Beginning at 50 years of age, persons at average risk for colorectal cancer should be screened with fecal occult blood testing annually and or flexible sigmoidoscopy every five years, colono scopy every 10 years or double-contrast barium enema every five to 10 years. Testing stool samples for genetic alterations that occur in colorectal cancer cells may help doctors find evidence of cancer or precancerous polyps. In some patients, genetic testing can guide screening and may be cost-effective. Genetic testing should be considered, especially in large families with many at-risk members; in such situations, genotyping may be more cost-effective than repeated endoscopy.

Approximately 25% of cases are attributed to two types of colorectal cancers: familial and hereditary. Familial colorectal cancer accounts for about 20% of cases and hereditary colorectal cancer accounts for the remaining five percent. You should discuss beginning earlier screening if you have a personal history of colorectal cancer or polyps, a strong family history of either, a personal history of chronic inflammatory bowel disease or a family history of a hereditary colorectal cancer syndrome. Genetic counseling and genetic testing for families who may have a hereditary form of colon cancer, such as hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer (HNPCC) or familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP).

Since most colon polyps and early cancers are silent (produce no symptoms), it is important to do screening and surveillance for colon cancer in patients without symptoms or signs of the polyps or cancers. Screening tests are used to look for disease in people who do not have any symptoms. Although there are good colorectal cancer screening tests, not enough people have them done. The majority of colorectal cancers would likely have been avoided if the people had only undergone regular and appropriate screenings.

Cancer prevention is action taken to lower the chance of getting cancer. Some cancer prevention trials are conducted with healthy people who have not had cancer but who have an increased risk for cancer.

Prevention of colorectal cancer: Although the exact cause of colorectal cancer is not known, it is possible to prevent many colon cancers with the following: diet and exercise. It is important to manage the risk factors you can control, such as diet and exercise. Nevertheless, it appears that increasing the fiber content in the Western diet would be useful in the primary prevention of colorectal cancer. You can start today to train children in cancer prevention habits, remembering that it's never too late to make healthy lifestyle changes for yourself as well.

Paul Rodgers specializes in marketing fitness, diets, health and beauty products and services. You are invited to visit Prevent Colorectal Cancer []...

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