Colorectal Cancer Screenings Save Lives

March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month and a good time to stress the importance of regular screenings that can lead to early detection and successful treatment of this disease.

According to Charles L. Spurr Jr., M.D., a board-certified gastroenterologist with Digestive and Liver Disease Specialists who practices at University Hospital, colorectal cancer generally begins as small noncancerous polyps. If discovered and removed early, these polyps do not pose a major problem, but they can become malignant if they are not removed.

Colorectal cancer is more common in people 50 and older. Other risk factors include:

  • a family history of colorectal cancer
  • a personal history of colorectal cancer, polyps or inflammatory bowel disease
  • smoking
  • a high-fat, low-fiber diet
  • lack of exercise or obesity
Therefore, the American Cancer Society recommends:

  • colorectal screenings beginning at age 50
  • If your mother, father, brother or sister has had the disease or you suffer from inflammatory bowel disease, screenings should begin earlier.
Unfortunately, the disease may be advanced before symptoms occur, so regular screenings are the best defense.

For more information on colorectal cancer or to find a physician, call University Hospital’s Cancer Answer Line at 706/828-2522 or toll free at 866/869-2522.


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