Health Discoveries in Colorectal Cancers

Colon screenings advised as part of National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

March 10, 2010
Regular colon screenings for both men and women are the number one step in preventing or detecting early signs of colorectal cancer, according to the Prevent Cancer Foundation.

As part of its March observance of National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, the foundation advises both men and women to begin screenings at age 50. Screenings should start earlier for those with a greater risk, such as a family history of the disease, those who have colitis or inflammatory bowel disease, or who are obese, sedentary and/or use tobacco.

Health experts advise having a colonoscopy done every 10 years, but less invasive screenings can be done every five years.

Last year, an estimated 147,000 people were diagnosed with colorectal cancer and nearly 50,000 people died from the disease. People who exercise regularly, maintain a healthy weight by eating a high-fiber and calcium-rich diet and don't smoke or drink alcohol excessively can lower their risk of the disease.

A clinical trial now under way on colon and rectal cancer within the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research is examining the effects of chemotherapy with various drug combinations. Patients with both types of cancers are included in the study, which is being done through the research facilities of the North Shore-LIJ Health System.ADNFCR-2730-ID-19661295-ADNFCR
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