Screening is Key to Preventing Colorectal Cancer

<b>Screening is Key to Preventing Colorectal Cancer</b>“></td>
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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – Colorectal cancer is the number-two cancer killer in the U.S. Unfortunately, few people realize that there are a number of simple screening tests that can make colorectal cancer one of the most preventable cancers.

Most colon cancers begin as polyps which, if not removed, can become cancerous. The development of more than 75-90 percent of colorectal cancer can be avoided through early detection and removal of these pre-cancerous polyps. The digestive health specialists from the American College of Gastroenterology (ACG) urge you to get screened for colorectal cancer.

Colorectal cancer is most common after age 50, but it can strike at younger ages. The chance of colon cancer increases with age. It’s suggested that screenings begin at age 50 for men and women at average risk for colorectal cancer. African-Americans should begin colorectal cancer screening as early as age 45. African-Americans are diagnosed with colorectal cancer at a younger average age than whites, and African-Americans with colorectal cancer have a decreased survival rate compared with whites.

Colonoscopy is considered the best test for colorectal cancer screening and prevention because it allows physicians to look directly at the entire colon and identify suspicious growths. It is the only test that can detect and remove pre-cancerous polyps from the colon during the same examination.

For average-risk individuals, the ACG recommends colonoscopy screening every 10 years beginning at age 50 as the preferred strategy. Alternative strategies for average risk individuals include annual stool tests to detect blood and flexible sigmoidoscopic exams every five years, although unlike colonoscopy this approach does not allow visualization and removal of polyps in the entire colon. The ACG urges you to talk to your doctor about what screening tests are right for you.

There is no reason for someone to die from a preventable cancer. With improved use of colon cancer screening, we can save lives. Colorectal cancer screening with colonoscopy is among the most powerful preventive tools in clinical medicine. To learn more about the benefits of colorectal cancer screening, speak with your doctor or visit www.acg.gi.org.

Survey Reveals Current Trends in Men’s Health

<b>Survey Reveals Current Trends in Men’s Health</b>“></td>
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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – Men in the United States may not be as healthy as they say they are. Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicate cases of testicular and colorectal cancer have been on the rise for more than a decade. According to a recent survey commissioned by the American Academy of Family Physicians and conducted by Harris Interactive, almost one in five men age 55+ have not received the recommended screening for colon cancer. And, while 79 percent of the men surveyed said they are in excellent, very good or good health, 42 percent have been diagnosed with at least one of the following chronic conditions: high blood pressure, heart disease, arthritis, cancer or diabetes.

One of the biggest obstacles to improving men’s healthcare is men themselves, the survey indicates. Among the findings:

* Twenty-nine percent of men said they wait as long as possible before seeing a doctor when they feel sick, are in pain or are concerned about their health.

* Men spend an average of 19 hours a week watching television, and more than 4 hours a week watching sports, but only 38 percent of men exercise on a regular basis.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates more than 71 percent of men are overweight.

But not all is bad news. Among those men surveyed who indicated they had a spouse/significant other, 78 percent said their spouse or significant other has influence over their decision to go to the doctor. But, what kind of doctor should a man see?

The Academy of Family Physicians recommends that all men have a personal family physician who knows their medical history and is their first point of contact for medical care.

In addition to diagnosing and treating illnesses, family physicians provide routine checkups, health-risk assessments, immunization and screening tests, and personalized counseling on healthy lifestyle choices. They also manage chronic illnesses and coordinate care, when necessary, with other specialists.

For more information on men’s health, visit www.familydoctor.org. For survey methodology, please contact the Academy of Family Physicians Public Relations Department.