Have You Been Screened for Colorectal Cancer?
Colorectal cancer kills more than 50,000 Americans every year, making it the third most common cancer and fourth leading cause of cancer deaths. It develops when cells in the colon or rectum mutate out of control, creating lumps of tissue called tumors that can spread throughout the body.
Early screening is important because colorectal cancer typically begins as polyps that can later become cancerous if they aren’t removed. Polyps, if you don’t know, are clumps of tissue that form along the lining of the colon or rectum. The longer a polyp goes untreated, the larger it grows and the more likely it is to become cancerous.
But there’s good news: When caught early, colorectal cancer is highly treatable. Even if it spreads to the lymph nodes, surgery plus chemotherapy is a highly effective treatment, and in more advanced cases – where the cancer has spread – surgery remains a good option.
Seniors are at increased risk for colorectal cancer, and the CDC recommendsscreening adults between the ages of 50 and 75.2There are several ways to test for it, including stool tests, flexible sigmoidoscopy, colonoscopy, CT colonography (virtual colonoscopy) and more. Ask your doctor which test is right for you, and if you’re older than 75, your doctor can also help you decide if a screening is necessary.
If you’d like to learn more about colorectal cancer and the preventative steps you can take, RSVP for our upcoming webinar on March 24. To become a new patient or request a tour of your nearest Partners in Primary Care location, call 713-979-5964or visit SeniorFocusedHouston.com.