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Get Screened for Colon Cancer for New Year’s Resolution

Making New Year’s resolutions can help you improve your health and well-being through lifestyle changes. Keeping those resolutions, though, can be tricky. An astounding 80 percent of people who make New Year’s resolution break them by the second week in February. That’s because keeping resolutions usually requires hard work and lifestyle changes.

A colon cancer screening is one New Year’s resolution that you can fulfill in just a couple of days, and without any gym memberships, low-calorie diets, or long-term commitments. This type of screening can also give you the gift of being free from worry about colon cancer.

Doctors diagnosed an estimated 97,220 new cases of colon cancer in 2018, according to the American Cancer Society (ACS), and diagnosed 43,030 new cases of rectal cancer. Medical professionals typically describe colon cancer and rectal cancers together, using the term colorectal cancer. Colorectal cancer is the third leading cancer-related cause of death in the United States. It claimed an estimated 50,630 lives in 2018.

Colon cancer is highly detectable and, if treated in its early stages, highly treatable. The ACS suggests that people of average risk for the disease should start regular colon cancer screenings at age 45 and continue through age 75. Average risk means a person does not have a personal history of colon cancer, polyps or inflammatory bowel disease, a family history of colon cancer, certain inherited conditions, or a personal history of receiving radiation to the belly or pelvis.

Colon Cancer Screenings

There are three main types of colon cancer screenings: stool-based tests, colonoscopy and virtual colonoscopy.

Stool-based colon cancer screening tests look for hidden blood in the stool and abnormal sections of DNA from cancer cells. These tests are convenient because they do not require a special diet and can be done at home then sent to a laboratory, but they do not detect polyps that may turn into cancer and they must be performed more frequently.

Colonoscopy is a procedure in which a doctor uses a flexible tube to examine the inside of the colon, and remove any suspicious areas for testing. This screening test requires you use fluid, pills or enemas to cleanse the colon.

Virtual colonoscopy is similar to traditional colonoscopy, except virtual colonoscopy involves a computed tomography (CT) scan of the colon and rectum. The same type of bowel prep is necessary for virtual colonoscopy.

Undergoing colon screening is a relatively fast and easy way to give yourself peace of mind over the next year. A colon screening is also a great way to accomplish at least one of your New Year’s resolutions. Schedule an appointment with Virtual Imaging today by calling 770.730.0119.