September 22, 2013 by Robert Wascher
Filed under A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race, Adenocarcinoma, Cancer, Cancer Prevention, Colon Cancer Risk, Colorectal Cancer, Colorectal Cancer Risk, Healthy Aging, Risk of Death, Weekly Health Update, cancer detection, cancer risk, cancer screening, colon cancer, colorectal cancer prevention, death, health, lifestyle, prevention, rectal cancer, risk
A large new public health study shows that colonoscopy remains the single most effective tool for the prevention of colorectal cancer.
COLONOSCOPY PREVENTS COLORECTAL CANCER
As I discuss in my book, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race, colorectal cancer remains the third most common type of cancer in both men and women, and the third most common cause of cancer death among both men and women.
In A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race, I discuss the known lifestyle and dietary factors associated with colorectal cancer risk, as well as evidence-based strategies to reduce your risk of developing this form of cancer. One of the most important of these colorectal prevention strategies is screening colonoscopy. Since the vast majority of colon and rectal cancers first begin as benign polyps, the identification and removal of these premalignant polyps (“adenomas”) can actually prevent the future development of this potentially deadly form of cancer.
Now, a new clinical research study, which appears in the current issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, reveals just how important, and how effective, screening colonoscopy is in preventing colon and rectal cancer.
The Nurses’ Health Study and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study are two very large ongoing prospective public health studies. In this case, 88,902 volunteers from these two studies were followed for an average of 22 years. During this time, 1,815 study volunteers were diagnosed with colorectal cancer and 474 volunteers died of colorectal cancer.
Among the volunteers who underwent screening colonoscopy, there was a 43 percent reduction in the risk of developing colorectal cancer if they had undergone polyp removal during colonoscopy, compared to study volunteers who did not undergo colonoscopy. Among the study participants who underwent colonoscopy, and who had no polyps detected, their risk of developing colorectal cancer was 56 percent lower when compared to the volunteers who did not undergo colonoscopy. The authors of this study also noted that screening colonoscopy was associated with a 68 percent reduction in the risk of dying from colorectal cancer, based upon the results of this very large prospective public health study.
The findings of this very important public health study show that screening colonoscopy remains the single most effective method of preventing colorectal cancer, and preventing death due to colorectal cancer. At the present time, the American Cancer Society recommends that people with an average risk of developing colorectal cancer should undergo their first colonoscopy at age 50. If this initial screening colonoscopy is normal, then patients should undergo routine screening colonoscopy every 10 years thereafter, as long as each subsequent colonoscopy remains normal.
Although many people shy away from colonoscopy due to concerns about discomfort, or due to modesty concerns, colonoscopy remains one of the most effective cancer screening and cancer prevention tools available. Therefore, if you are due (or overdue) for screening colonoscopy, please do not delay in having this potentially lifesaving test performed.
For a groundbreaking overview of cancer risks, and evidence-based strategies to reduce your risk of developing cancer, order your copy of my bestselling book, “A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race,” from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, Vroman’s Bookstore, and other fine bookstores!
Within one week of publication, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race was ranked #6 among all cancer-related books on the Amazon.com “Top 100 Bestseller’s List” for Kindle e-books. Within three months of publication, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race was the #1 book on the Amazon.com “Top 100 New Book Releases in Cancer” list.
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According to recent Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate for veterans who served on active duty between September 2001 and December 2011 is more than 12 percent. A new website, Veterans in Healthcare, seeks to connect veterans with potential employers. If you are a veteran who works in the healthcare field, or if you are an employer who is looking for physicians, advanced practice professionals, nurses, corpsmen/medics, or other healthcare professionals, then please take a look at Veterans in Healthcare. As a retired veteran of the U.S. Army, I would also like to personally urge you to hire a veteran whenever possible.
Disclaimer: As always, my advice to readers is to seek the advice of your physician before making any significant changes in medications, diet, or level of physical activity
Dr. Wascher is an oncologic surgeon, professor of surgery, cancer researcher, oncology consultant, and a widely published author
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