Colon Cancer (cont.)
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Your best prevention is to detect colon cancer and treat it early in its formation. People who have regular screening for colon cancer, including fecal occult blood tests,sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy, and polyp removal, greatly reduce their risk of having a colorectal cancer.
Other things you can do to lower your risk include the following:
The US Agency for Health Care Policy and Research recommends screening for colon cancer in people older than 50 years who have an average risk for the disease and in people aged 40 years and older who have a family history of colorectal cancer. The agency recommends that one of the following screening techniques be used:
Once polyps have been identified, they should be removed. After you have had polyps, even one polyp, you should begin to have more frequent colonoscopies.
Appropriate preventive screening for people with ulcerative colitis includes the following:
In people with ulcerative colitis in whom biopsies show premalignant changes, it is recommended they undergo surgical removal of their colons.
Robert J Fingerote, MD, MSc, BSc
Scott H Plantz, MD, FAAEM
Francisco Talavera, PharmD, PhD
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