4 tips to protect your colon

4 tips to protect your colon

via Cancerwise | Cancer blog from MD Anderson Cancer Center:

bresalier.jpg

By Robert Bresalier, M.D.

Colorectal
cancer
is the third
most common cancer
in both men and women in the United States, and the
third leading cause of cancer death.

Colorectal cancer develops in the colon or rectum, and grows
slowly. In 2014, there will be an estimated 141,000 new colorectal cancer cases
in the United States and 49,000 related deaths. But colorectal cancer is preventable and
curable when detected early.

Here are my top four tips to help lower your risks for
colorectal cancer:

Tip 1: Get screened
for colorectal cancer


Screening
remains the most important method to prevent colorectal cancer. People at
average risk, age 50 and older, should get a colonoscopy every 10 years. A colonoscopy
enables your doctor to detect potentially cancer-causing lesions or polyps
early, and remove them.

Tip 2: Don’t be
afraid of the exam
Patients shouldn’t fear a colonoscopy. It’s a straight-forward
procedure which doesn’t, in most cases, cause discomfort. It also has a very
low complication rate. And, knowing what is going on in your colon could save
your life.

Tip 3: Prep the right
way for a colonoscopy

Most people complain
about the laxative preparation. It
requires that you drink a large volume of liquid that generally doesn’t taste
very good. However, we now split the liquid into two doses. You drink one the
night before
the exam
and the second four to six hours before the exam. And, there have
been efforts at improving the taste.

The laxative procedure is very important. It ensures that
your colon is completely clean for your exam. And, a clean colon means your
doctor can spend more time carefully examining you.

Tip 4: Plan for what happens
next

Prevention doesn’t stop once you’ve had a colonoscopy.
You and your doctor need to discuss what happens next. Your doctor can create a personalized
screening plan for you based on your risk. That way, you can get screened at
intervals that are effective for you.

Watch this video to learn additional ways that you can lower
your risk for colorectal cancer, such as eating healthy and getting enough
sleep.

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Cancerwise | Cancer blog from MD Anderson Cancer Center

4 tips to protect your colon

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