In today’s Brazos Valley Physicians Organization Journal of Medicine report Dr Erin Fleener discusses colon cancer.
"Colon cancer is another disease that we do very well if we can get people in for a screening test, so most people know that the colonoscopy decreases your chance of colon cancer risk and of dying of colon cancer.
But it’s so much harder to get people in for their colonoscopy than it ever will be for to get breast cancer patients their mammogram for example. And unfortunately too many people still present late, they present later in stage three and stage four colon cancers instead of stage one and stage two.
And overwhelmingly you will cure more people if you catch them with stage one or stage two disease. Everyone should be starting at age 50 getting their colonoscopies. If you have a family member who has a history of colon cancer, and by that I mean a direct family member a sibling or a parent, you should be starting at ten years younger than the age that they were diagnosed. So if your father was 55 years old when he was diagnosed with his colon cancer you should probably start at age 45. And then there are some genetic syndromes that are associated with colon cancer risk that if you’re one of those patients you fall into a different category.
But if you don’t carry a gene that gives you an increased risk of colon cancer but you do have a family history, you still may need to start younger than 50."
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