A simple procedure that can save your life.
Colorectal cancer — cancer of the colon and/or rectum — is the third most deadly of all cancers in the United States. This year, more than 150,000 new cases of colorectal cancer will be diagnosed, and more than 60,000 Americans will die from it. Yet, colorectal cancer is among the most preventable and curable of all cancers… if it is found and treated in its early stages.
Experts agree that colonoscopy is the “gold standard” for diagnosing colon cancer. This is a 20-minute procedure in which Dr. Winston checks the lining of the entire colon and rectum for growths using a long flexible tube with a video camera at the tip that transmits images to a TV screen. In some studies it has been shown that colonoscopy detects over 98% of significant colorectal tumors. Colonoscopy is performed under sedation to make your exam as comfortable as possible.
Polyps are benign or precancerous growths on the lining of the colon and rectum. If detected, Dr. Winston removes them during colonoscopy. Polyp formation is one of the most common abnormalities within the colon and rectum.
Colorectal Cancer Symptoms
The key to surviving this disease is early detection, and this means finding it before there are symptoms. Here are the warning signs that may indicate the presence of colorectal cancer:
- A change in bowel habits
- Either diarrhea or constipation
- Blood in the stool (bright red, black or very dark)
- Narrowed stools (about the thickness of a pencil)
- Bloating, fullness or abdominal cramps
- A feeling that the bowel does not empty completely
- Frequent gas pains
- Weight loss without dieting
- Continuing fatigue
- Unexplained anemia
Your risk for Colorectal Cancer
Your chance of developing colorectal cancer increases with your age. Also, personal and family history increases your risk, as does a high-fat-low-fiber diet. Men and women are affected by cancer of the colon or rectum about equally, and research shows there is a correlation between colorectal cancer and breast cancer. Most importantly, risk exists, and it’s essential that you are screened regularly beginning at age 50, or over 40 if you have a family history of colorectal cancer.
For more information or to schedule an appointment call (281) 440-3618 today.