Colon Cancer & Polyps
Polyps are small growths on the lining of the colon. During a colonoscopy your doctor will look for polyps and remove them.
While most polyps are harmless, some (adenomas) are precancerous. Removing polyps before they can become malignant is a life saving procedure for millions of Americans every year.
Unfortunately, many patients are not so lucky and are diagnosed with colon cancer. If caught early, colon cancer is over 90% curable. We can not emphasize it enough - screening colonoscopies save lives.
Risk factors for colon cancer:
- Age - if you are at least 50 you should be screened for colon cancer.
- Race - African Americans tend to develop colorectal cancers at a younger age. Symptoms should not be ignored.
- Family History - if you have a first degree relative with colorectal cancer (parent, sibling, child) you should speak to a gastroenterologist at IllinoisGastro. Your screening schedule will be unique to you.
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease - ulcerative colitis and Crohn's Disease can increase your risk of developing colorectal cancers
- Lifestyle factors include - high fat diets, heavy smoking and heavy consumption of alcohol
- Obesity and lack of regular exercise