Colon Cancer Causes Revealed

Colon cancer is a major illness and one that can cause life altering effects. In fact, this form of cancer is one of the most common in the nation. Most colon cancer patients suffer from polyps, which are abnormal cells that form clusters. When normal cells begin to transform, a potential problem arises. As time progresses, these growths get bigger and can lead to the development of cancer. A vast majority of sufferers have a family history with the disease. In addition, the risk of developing colon cancer increases with age and is most common in those ages 50 and up. Certain individuals simply carry the genetic makeup, which can be identified through a series of tests, that may lead to colon cancer.

While there are no certain ways to pinpoint exactly who develops cancer, or why, there are several risk factors that may increase an individual’s chance of developing the illness. Among them, a previous battle with cancer, a family history with colon cancer, poor diets, smoking and obesity. With so many risk factors, one may wonder if there is anything that they can do in order to prevent colon cancer. Studies show that a lot of physical activity or exercise and a low-fat, high-fiber diet may help to reduce the risks. In addition, certain medicines may also help to prevent the disease.

As is the case with many ailments, symptoms are often very similar to those of other diseases. It can be extremely difficult to get an accurate assessment of what’s wrong when so many illnesses carry the same symptoms. For this reason, it’s important to seek medical attention if an individual experiences abnormal bleeding, weakness, pale complexion or abdominal expansion without weight gain, nausea, any change in bowel movements or weight loss. Each person is different and, as such, symptoms may vary slightly. Because symptoms may either present themselves as severe or barely noticeable, it is recommended that patients be screened regularly for the presence of cancer causing factors.

If left untreated, any type of cancerous cells have the ability to grow and spread throughout the rest of the body. This can lead to the need for further surgery, more intense treatments or, in the worst case, a cancer may become so advanced that it will not respond to treatment. When seeking medical attention, it’s important to understand that there are a series of tests that can detect and diagnose colon cancer. A physician will be able to answer any questions that a patient may have regarding treatment options and the likelihood of their success.

This article should not be construed as professional medical advice. If you, or someone that you know, is concerned about the possibility of cancer, you should seek medical attention immediately. A medical doctor can discuss various options, prevention and treatment possibilities should the presence of cancer be detected. A series of tests may be conducted in order to confirm, or rule out, any such diagnosis and can only be done by a medical doctor.

New At-Home Test Aids In Cancer Screening

There’s encouraging news for the millions of Americans at risk for colon cancer. A new, easy-to-use fecal occult blood test (FOBT) is available for at-home screening and is designed specifically to detect colon cancer at its earliest stages.

Hemoccult ICT is a new, safe and affordable FOBT screening option for colon cancer-the second leading cause of cancer-related death in the United States. Despite its high incidence, colon cancer is a highly treatable cancer, with a 90 percent survival rate when detected early. Unfortunately, only half of the more than 80 million Americans over age 50 have been screened for colon cancer.

The American Cancer Society recommends annual screening with a FOBT for both men and women beginning at age 50. Annual colon cancer screening with FOBT has been proven to decrease mortality by 33 percent when compared with no screening. Because colon cancer can take three to 10 years or longer to develop in the average patient, it is important to begin screening prior to developing symptoms.

FOBT vs. Colonoscopy

For years colonoscopy has been the most well-known test in colon cancer screening. While widely regarded as the gold standard, colonoscopy does have some drawbacks:

• Colonoscopy costs between $300 and $1,000, and while covered by insurance for many, millions of Americans lack health insurance.

• Standard colonoscopy can be overwhelming for some people due to the fact that the procedure is usually done under sedation, and because patients are required to follow a special diet and take a very strong laxative before the exam.

• Due to a limited number of trained professionals and the equipment needed to perform the tests, the maximum number of colonoscopies that can be performed in the United States each year can accommodate only a quarter of the Americans in need of screening.

Unlike other available FOBTs, the new Hemoccult ICT has no drug or dietary restrictions-allowing people to begin testing at their convenience. If a test comes back positive, a follow-up colonoscopy typically is recommended.