According to the American Cancer Society, our lifetime risk of developing colorectal cancer is about 1 in 20. This March, join Saint Louis University to share the message that prevention can stop colorectal cancer before it starts and help us change these odds.
|Jason Taylor, M.D. is a SLUCare gastroenterologist|
Colonoscopies, performed to screen for colon and rectal cancer, are the number one way to discover pre-cancerous growths, according to SLUCare gastroenterologist, Jason Taylor, M.D. A patient uses a liquid preparation to clean out their colon. On the following day, a gastroenterologist uses a high-resolution endoscope to look at the inside of the colon to evaluate and remove colon polyps and make sure there is no colon cancer.
Taylor recommends that each person take colonoscopy guidelines to heart and take advantage of the chance to remove polyps before they become cancerous.
"I see patients who frequently delay their colonoscopy because they feel well and think that colon cancer cannot affect them," Taylor said. "In some cases, it does not matter. Unfortunately, other times this delay is catastrophic.
"Someone who may have been able to have a colon polyp completely removed during a colonoscopy when it was done at age 40 or 50, may have colon cancer that is not able to be surgically resected by the time they finally choose to have a colonoscopy years later."
It's important to know when you should schedule your appointment and also to know your family history. A family history of colon cancer in a first-degree relative roughly doubles your risk of colorectal cancer.
Reduce your Risk Factors
Colonoscopies are valuable screening tools, but they're not the only way you can reduce your cancer risk. A meta-analysis of 52 studies found a 24 percent reduction in colorectal cancer in those who exercise.
The following elements of a healthy lifestyle - which support good health in many different ways - also are good for your colon.
SCHEDULE a colonoscopy. To make an appointment with a SLUCare gastroenterologist, call 314-977-4440 or click here.
READ about ways to eliminate anxiety about the procedure here.
SPREAD the message that colonoscopies save lives.
During March -- Colorectal Cancer Awareness month -- join us on Facebook and Twitter. Share the message as we post stories and tips throughout the month. And, send us your stories: If you schedule your colonoscopy appointment, remind your mother or father to schedule their appointments, share a tip from one of our doctors on social media, or have another way you're helping to spread the message that colonoscopies save lives, let us know.Nationally accredited and with more than 500 physicians, SLUCare is the medical practice group of Saint Louis University School of Medicine. The school educates physicians and biomedical scientists, conducts medical research, and provides health care on a local, national and international level.