Understanding Colon Cancer
There are forces trying desperately to steal away the most precious years of your life. And one of those forces is colon cancer. Maybe you think that because you don’t have a family history of the disease, you’re home free. The truth is the most important risk factor for colorectal cancers is age. Seventy-five percent of colorectal cancers occur in those with no family or personal history. Other risk factors may include a high-fat diet, physical inactivity, obesity and smoking.
Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in men and women today and the number one cause of cancer deaths in non-smokers. According to the American Cancer Society, there are more than 98,000 new cases each year. The survival rate is greater than 90% if detected early, when cancers are limited to the bowel wall at the time of diagnosis. The risk of colon polyps developing into a true cancer is directly related to size, so finding polyps in their early stage is crucial.
Identifying the Problem
Colon cancer is sneaky. Symptoms suggesting the presence of colon cancer (rectal bleeding, abdominal pain, constipation, diarrhea and weight loss) are often found only in advanced stages of the disease. The survival rate may improve if the cancer is detected in its earliest stages; but most people who have early colon cancer have no symptoms and feel fine so therefore don’t seek medical attention. Precursor lesions, such as colon polyps or small adenomas, generally precede the development of cancer by several years to a decade or more.
Because 75% of colon cancer is found in those at “average” risk, most physicians recommend a screening at least by age 50, and even at an earlier age if there is a family history of premature colon cancer.
Taking the Right Steps
A virtual colonoscopy using the EBT C300 scanner, exclusively available at the Virtual Imaging Inc Diagnostic Center, is a method involving multiple, thin X-ray sections of the area. It has proven to be an effective method of screening the “average” risk patient who is without symptoms, as well as those with a positive family history of colon cancer. The current “prep” is gentler than a standard colonoscopy; no sedation is needed, it is non-invasive, so it presents no risk of bowel puncture, and the patient can return home or to work immediately after the scan.
Talk to your doctor about the Virtual Imaging Inc EBT ColonScan. Or for more detailed information, call Virtual Imaging Inc at 770 730 0119. Whether or not you have a family history of the disease, don’t let cancer deprive you of creating your own family history.