Early Detection is the Best Defense against Colon CancerBy Lawayne Childrey | Published 13 Mar 2013 04:54pm |
It is estimated that nearly sixteen hundred Mississippian's are diagnosed with colorectal cancer each year. About six hundred of those diagnosed are expected to die. As part of Colon Cancer Awareness Month doctors say the key to preventing the disease is early testing.
Colorectal cancer (commonly called colon cancer) always starts with a polyp. That's a small growth on the lining of the colon or rectum. Because of early testing Dr. Christopher Lahr, a Colon & Rectal Surgeon at University of Mississippi Medical Center was able to deliver some good news to his patient, William Jones.
"Turns out you have some big polyps over here that we found when you had the colonoscopy and we can remove those because if we leave them they well turn into cancer."
Research shows that nine out of 10 colon cancer cases are diagnosed in people older than 50. That's why Jones a 31- year old Carthage resident feels thankful for his early diagnosis.
"I really don't know what to say because it just basically makes me real speechless. I mean because I'm a blessing you could say. And people always in church saying they're a living testimony so that right there just made me consider myself a living testimony," says Jones.
Anyone with a family history of colon cancer may need to get tested before age 50. But Dr. Lahr says the theory should also apply to African-American men who are at the greatest risk for the disease.
"Nobody knows for sure but part of it is I think that patients who get more frequent colonoscopy's are more likely to get picked up before it turns into cancer. And so I think other males have higher access, better access to care," says Lahr.
According to the American cancer society, since the 1990's more Americans are surviving colon cancer than ever before.
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