Eliminating Barriers To Colon Cancer Screening
There is good news for those concerned about colon cancer. Physicians know that colon cancer screening saves lives. Yet an estimated 148,000 Americans, both women and men, are diagnosed with colorectal cancer each year, and every year approximately 55,000 will die-the nation's second deadliest cancer. Yet, it's believed most of these deaths could be prevented through proper screening.
However, experts from the American College of Gastroenterology (ACG) warn that too few Americans are getting screened. Colorectal screening rates remain very low, even though Medicare and many private plans pay for screening tests.
Despite increasing public awareness of colon cancer screening tests through the efforts of Katie Couric and others, many people continue to face obstacles to screening. Even Medicare beneficiaries, for whom incidence and death from the disease are highest, encounter problems with access to screening colonoscopy.
Congress Can Help
"Pending legislation in the U.S. Congress, such as the Colon Cancer Screen for Life Act (S.1010/ H.R. 1632), promises to remove Medicare's barriers to screening," says ACG President Dr. Jack A. DiPalma of Mobile, Alabama. "But only one small improvement, the waiver of the Medicare deductible, was approved for 2006, so much remains to be done."
Research indicates that colon cancer arises from precancerous growths or polyps that grow in the colon. When detected early, these growths or polyps can be removed, actually preventing the development of colon cancer.
"With improved use of colon cancer screening, we can save lives," adds Dr. DiPalma.
The College currently recommends colonoscopy every 10 years beginning at age 50 for average-risk individuals as the preferred screening strategy to prevent colon cancer.
For patients with higher risk factors such as a family history of colon cancer or a previous personal history of polyps, and for African Americans, ACG recommends earlier and/or more frequent screening with colonoscopy.
Buddy Bracelet Spreads Awareness Of Colorectal Cancer
Colorectal cancer is 90 percent preventable and 90 percent treatable when detected early, yet it continues to be the second leading cause of cancer-related death in the United States.
To help spread the message about the importance of early detection, the Cancer Research and Prevention Foundation and its 54 partners have joined together to celebrate National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month by introducing the "Buddy Bracelet," a unique and powerful way to promote public awareness of the disease.
"Today, in a sea of colored bracelets, the blue Buddy Bracelet stands out by creating a clever way for people to take their health into their own hands," said Carolyn Aldig
Treatments Coping With Colon Cancer
Patients who receive a diagnosis of colon cancer quickly become depressed and have a lot of unanswered questions about their future. The most important thing for them to realize is that they are not alone and that their friends and family are there to provide love and support.
When dealing with any type of illness, including colon cancer, family and friends are the first thought of a positive support system. Understandably, these same people may be experiencing a lot of emotional pain and anxiety themselves, which stems from seeing their loved on suffering from an illness. If, for these reasons, a cancer patient cannot find support at home, it's a good idea to join a local support group or become involved in an activity that they enjoy. If their health allows it, a cancer patient should continue living life and enjoying every day as possible. While quality of life is very important, making sure to take time out for rest is one of the key points for successful recovery from any illness.
Immediately following diagnosis, a colon cancer patient may want to visit their local library or research the internet for educational resources, of which there are plenty available. This information will help the patient to become better informed and allow them to be more involved with their treatment. It's important to know, and understand, what is happening to the body during an illness, treatments and recovery. It is equally recommended that a patient remain involved in his/her care for as long as possible. This can be achieved by conducting research, asking the physician a lot of questions and preparing for best and worst case scenarios.
Depending on how advanced a cancer patient's illness is, several treatment options are available. If a patient decides to move forward with treatment, he/she may also wish to consult another physician for a second opinion in order to confirm the diagnosis and recommended treatment. The best outcome is to eliminate the cancer completely but, if that is not possible, the doctor may be able to stop the cancer from spreading or to relieve the patient's symptoms and discomfort.
Assuming the patient's health will allow it, and he/she wishes to pursue remedies, the main method of treatment is surgery. Depending on the location and size of the cancer, a doctor may be able to remove all or part of the colon. If a polyp is the only cancer that is known to be present, it may be all that needs removing. In some cases of colon cancer, the patient must wear a permanent colostomy following surgery. This occurs if the cancer is so advanced that it forces the doctor to remove the entire colon.
Another common approach to treating colon cancer is for the patient to begin a series of chemotherapy treatments. This process involves the intake of medicines to help fight the cancer cells, which can either be taken orally or delivered through the patient's veins. This option is often most useful to rid the patient of any lingering cancer cells following surgery. In addition, chemotherapy may be used to control the growth of cancer, relieve symptoms and prolong life. Radiation therapy, often used in conjunction with chemotherapy to help combat various other cancers, is not a treatment used to help colon cancer patients after surgery.
This article should not be construed as professional medical advice. If you, or someone that you know, is concerned about the possibility of cancer, you should seek medical attention immediately. A medical doctor can discuss various options, prevention and treatment possibilities should the presence of cancer be detected. A series of tests may be conducted in order to confirm, or rule out, any such diagnosis and can only be done by a medical doctor.
One Simple Test Can Help You Fight The Battle Against Colon Cancer
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States for both women and men. This disease surpasses both breast and prostate cancer in mortality, second only to lung cancer in the number of cancer deaths. Despite the fact that it is highly preventable, it is estimated that 148,610 new cases of colorectal cancer will be diagnosed and 55,170 people will die from the disease in 2006. However, when detected and treated early, colorectal cancer has a five-year survival rate of greater than 90 percent. For that reason, routine screening is vital in the prevention and detection of this deadly disease.
According to the American Cancer Society, "beginning at age 50, both men and women at average risk for developing colorectal cancer should follow one of these five testing schedules:
(*) yearly fecal occult blood test (FOBT)* or fecal immunochemical test (FIT)
(*) flexible sigmoidoscopy every five years
(*) yearly FOBT* or FIT plus flexible sigmoidoscopy every five years**
(*) double-contrast barium enema every five years
(*) colonoscopy every 10 years
* For FOBT, the take-home multiple sample method should be used.
** The combination of yearly FOBT or FIT plus flexible sigmoid-oscopy every five years is preferred over either of these options alone.
All positive tests should be followed up with colonoscopy."
One simple, easy-to-use test is Quidel's QuickVue
Colon Cleansing Is Preventative Health Care
Colon cleansing is preventative health care, rather than a treatment for a disease. It is critical because it helps to detoxify your body of all the unnecessary and unwanted toxins that build up in your body. It is also regarded as a safe and alternative method to treat many of our symptoms and problems. Colon cleansing is a procedure of cleansing the body, resulting in the release of toxins, poisons, carcinogens and free radicals. Natural colon cleansers are also available and if you think you don't have much time and money for clinic sessions, you can do colon cleansing at home.
Colon cleansing is the first step on the road to recovery. Detoxification is necessary to rid our body of toxins that accumulate as a result of an unhealthy diet, environmental pollution and chemicals, and a constant use of antibiotics. Cleansing your body with an effective, all natural colon treatment is a good way to approach parasites cleansing, weight gain, IBS, severe gas and bloating, etc. Cleansing, also called detoxification, is our body's normal process of elimination, a function that occurs daily through our colon, liver, kidney, lungs, lymph and skin. Cleansing reactions are part of cleansing and are not the same as "side effects" normally associated with medication.
Naturally, the colon in your digestive system is responsible for holding wastes. Natural colon cleansing involves a cleansing diet, which consists of some efficient herbs that are known for killing certain harmful parasites and worms. Body detox is one of the effective way to keep us
healthy, help our digestion system and put all the toxins out of the body. Natural colon cleansing involves taking a balanced diet and additionally,
a few herbal supplements that help kill the harmful bacteria and in removing excess of toxins.
Natural colon cleansing is a great way to help restore health to this vital organ of your digestive system. Natural herbal colon cleansers makes the process of colon detox very smooth and thus helps us to maintain our body in a much more effective way. More often than not, natural colon cleansing means following a colon cleansing diet along with taking some colon cleansing supplements which may include herbs which are known to kill parasites and worms, contain digestive enzymes, contain probiotics
(beneficial bacteria), contain herbs that stimulates liver, gallbladder and intestines, also psyllium husk or seeds, Cascara Sagrada, or flax seeds, or
slippery elm, and others.
Cancer of the colon and rectum (colorectal cancer) is a malignant tumor arising from the inner wall of the large intestine. Cancer affecting the colon and/or rectum is diagnosed in more than 140,000 Americans each year. Cancer of the colon and rectum is the third most common cause of cancer death in women (after lung and breast cancers) and the third most common cause of cancer death in men (after lung and prostate cancers). This is probably one of the reason as to why one can find literally find thousands of magazines and journals which gives a detailed analysis on the dangers of deadly toxins that can inturn lead to the building up of parasites and ultimately leads on to colon cancer.
Colon cleansing herbs are of paramount importance to the health of the body as they can eliminate the many toxins in the body system which the body cannot normally expel. Colon cleansing herbs are available in two different forms - namely, a pre-made formula or just as single herbs. Colon cleansing herbs are simply mixtures of herbs that have been found to help expedite the removal of waste from a person's body in an efficient way.
Caregivers Play Key Role In Disease Management Of Older Colon Cancer Patients
Colon cancer patients who are 65 and older may benefit from a caregiver's involvement, and caregivers may ultimately have a major impact on patients' disease management, according to a survey of oncologists commissioned by the Alliance for Aging Research.
Ninety percent of oncologists feel that caregivers have a moderate to major impact on the decision-making process. Unfortunately, only about 64 percent of colon cancer patients in this age group have caregivers' support.
"Physicians should encourage patients to enlist a caregiver and involve them in the treatment decision-making process," said Dr. Stuart Lichtman, associate attending physician at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.
More than half of oncologists who agree that colon cancer patients 65 and older have a more difficult time managing their disease than younger patients also agree that these patients are generally less proactive about researching available treatment options. Seventy-seven percent said that such patients experienced better disease outcomes with a caregiver's involvement due to increased communication. Additionally, caregivers play an important role in providing emotional support, participating in doctors' visits and in decisions about disease management options and providing transportation to appointments.
"It is clear that caregivers are key to ensuring that colon cancer patients 65 and older receive the best care," said Daniel Perry, executive director of Alliance for Aging Research. "Since managing colon cancer can be a complicated and confusing process especially for the aging population, a caregiver, whether a spouse, child, friend or neighbor, should be actively involved."
"Crossing Jordan" star Miguel Ferrer, who lost his father, Jos
Risks Of Colon Cancer In Women And Men
Cancer occurs when something goes wrong with this system, causing uncontrolled cell division and growth. Colon cancer is cancer of the large intestine (colon), the lower part of your digestive system. Most cases of colon cancer begin as small, noncancerous (benign) clumps of cells called adenomatous polyps. Rectal cancer is cancer of the last 6 inches of the colon. Together, they're often referred to as colorectal cancers.
Colorectal cancer is the second most common cancer killer overall and third most common cause of cancer-related death in the United States in both males and females. Who is at risk for colorectal cancer. Men tend to get colorectal cancer at an earlier age than women, but women live longer so they catch up with men and thus the total number of cases in men and women is equal. Women diagnosed with uterine or ovarian cancer before age 50 are at increased risk of colorectal cancer. Woman with a personal history of breast cancer have only a very slight increase in risk of colorectal cancer. The average age to develop colorectal cancer is 70 years, and 93% of cases occur in persons 50 years of age or older. You have a higher risk for colon cancer if you have:
Cancer elsewhere in the body.
Colorectal polypsCrohn's disease
Family history of colon cancer
Personal history of breast cancer
What are the symptoms of colorectal cancer. Symptoms of colorectal cancer vary depending on the location of the cancer within the colon or rectum, though there may be no symptoms at all. The most common presenting symptom of colorectal cancer is rectal bleeding. Cancers arising from the left side of the colon generally cause bleeding, or in their late stages may cause constipation, abdominal pain, and obstructive symptoms. On the other hand, right-sided colon lesions may produce vague abdominal aching, but are unlikely to present with obstruction or altered bowel habit. Other symptoms such as weakness, weight loss, or anemia resulting from chronic blood loss may accompany cancer of the right side of the colon.
If your doctor learns that you do have colorectal cancer, more tests will be done to see if the cancer has spread. Colonoscopy is currently the only test recommended for colorectal cancer screening in average-risk persons at 10 year intervals. Colonoscopic surveillance (also called screening colonoscopy) needs to be available at more frequent intervals for individuals at high risk for colon cancer (for instance, those with a personal history of colorectal cancer or adenomatous polyps; family history of colorectal cancer; non-hereditary polyposis; colorectal cancer; or a pre-disposing condition such as inflammatory bowel disease.
The first step to avoiding this ailment is prevention with regular tests at the doctor, but there are other ways of getting around this disease in between checkups. Nevertheless, it appears that increasing the fiber content in the Western diet would be useful in the primary prevention of colorectal cancer. It is recommended that physical activity messages promoting at least 30-45 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity on most days of the week be included in primary prevention interventions for cancer. The population prevalence for meeting proposed physical activity criteria for colon cancer prevention is low and much lower than that related to the more generic public health recommendations.
Our bodies need lots of calcium and not only for building strong bones. Colon cancer prevention is one of the most exciting uses for calcium. However, instead of using calcium supplements, this study relied on low-fat dairy products to supply 1,200mg calcium per day. Investigators found this amount of calcium decreased the incidence of changes in the cells lining the colon, which is often seen in the initial stages of colon cancer. A significant protective factor is adequate dietary calcium intake during the period of maximum growth (ages 9 and 25 y), so that proper peak bone mass is achieved by age 20and 30 y and maintained until mid-life, with only slow bone loss in the following years. As already noted, dietary surveys indicate a significant gap between the recommended calcium intake and the actual intake in the United States in the critical years of adolescence and young adulthood and later in life. In addition, several large-scale, recent studies in humans indicate a role for increased dietary calcium in reducing colon cancer risk, as briefly discussed below.
Both men and women are equally at risk for colorectal cancer. Men over the age of 50 and women over 55 should have this test on an annual basis to detect colon cancer early. Yet colorectal cancer is the third most common malignancy in women after breast and lung cancer. Incidence is slightly higher in men than women, and is highest in African American men. It is believe that the time has come for a full scientific review of cereal-grain enrichment with calcium and vitamin D as a low-cost, safe, and useful route for the reduction of osteoporosis and colon cancer in the United States in both men and women.
Staging Colon Cancer
When a doctor wants to evaluate the progress of colon cancer of one of his patients he or she uses a method called Staging. This method is about finding out to what extent the tumor (colon cancer) has spread to the other regions of the patients body. Once the doctors figured out in what stage the colon cancer is, they will develop the best course of action or treatment.
At this point in time the system that is most commonly used for the staging process of colon cancer is called the American Joint Committee on Cancer's (AJCC) TNM staging system. Simply put this system used for staging places the patients into one of four stages.
Stage 0 also known as carcinoma in situ or colorectal cancer. In this stage the colon cancer has been detected in the innermost lining of the colon.
In this stage the colon cancer has already begun to spread. But the cancer is still in the inner lining of the rectum or colon. In this stage the colon cancer has not reached the outer walls of the colon yet. Stage I is also known as Duke A or colorectal cancer.
In this stage the colon cancer spread more deeply into or through the colon or rectum. Possibly the colon cancer may have affected other tissue as well. In this stage the colon cancer hasn't reached the Lymph nodes (bean-sized structures which can be found in the entire body that helps the body fight all kinds of infections and diseases. Stage II is also known as Duke B or colorectal cancer.
When you are in this stage the colon cancer has now spread to the Lymph nodes although it hasn't spread to nearby parts of the body. Stage III is also known as Duke C or colorectal cancer.
In this stage the colon cancer has spread through the Lymph node system to other nearby tissue. This is most commonly called metastasis. The organs that most likely are affected are the lungs and liver. Stage IV is also known as Duke D or colorectal cancer.
Recurrent Colon Cancer or Cancerous Cells
When doctors talk about recurrent colon cancer they mean that cancerous cells that have already been treated have returned. These cancerous cells could possibly have returned as colorectal cancer but they might as well return in any other part of the body too.
Colon Cancer Affects Men And Women Equally
Most cases of colon cancer begin as small, noncancerous (benign) clumps of cells called adenomatous polyps. Cancerous tumors found in the colon or rectum also may spread to other parts of the body. Cancer of the colon and rectum (colorectal cancer) is a malignant tumor arising from the inner wall of the large intestine. If signs and symptoms of colon cancer do appear, they may include changes in bowel habits, blood in your stool, persistent cramping, gas or abdominal pain. Since colon cancer can grow for years without causing any symptoms, it's best to get regular colon cancer screenings.
Almost all men and women age 50 and older should have a colon cancer screening. Screening tests can help prevent colorectal cancer by finding pre-cancerous polyps so they can be removed before they turn into cancer. For normal risk individuals, screening tests begin at age 50 and the preferred approach is a screening colonoscopy every 10 years; an alternate strategy consists of annual stool test for blood and a flexible sigmoidoscopic exam every 3 to 5 years.
Special screening programs are used for those with a family history of colorectal cancer. Colonoscopic surveillance (also called screening colonoscopy) needs to be available at more frequent intervals for individuals at high risk for colon cancer (for instance, those with a personal history of colorectal cancer or adenomatous polyps; family history of colorectal cancer; non-hereditary polyposis; colorectal cancer; or a pre-disposing condition such as inflammatory bowel disease. Since your genes cannot be changed, if there is a family history of colon polyps or cancer, a colonoscopy should be performed to remove the polyps before they become malignant.
In the area of prevention, researchers are looking at the effects of curcumin (found in curry), resveratrol (found in red wine), ginger and the Mediterranean diet on the growth and development of colon cancer. Recent research suggests that a high fiber, low-fat diet plays a role in prevention; how great a role it plays is unclear. Although the exact cause of colorectal cancer is not known, it is possible to prevent many colon cancers through: diet and exercise. It is important to manage the risk factors you can control, such as diet and exercise.
A detox program, in most cases shall include a mental shift in attitude towards diet, improving nutrition, removing toxins, returning the desired flora in your internal system, maintaining a balanced pH level in the body and improving the overall mind and body relationship. Diet plays an important role in preventing the development of colon cancer. Diets high in fat and low in fruits and vegetables, such as those that include red meat, fried foods and high-fat dairy products, may increase the risk of colorectal cancer.
A body cleanse diet, is a diet that aims to clean and remove harmful toxins from your body. A well known detox diet for your body is the increasingly popular lemon detox diet, which incorporates a number of ingredients and requires you to consume a drink of these ingredients once everymorning, then drinking water with a hint of lemon juice throughout theday. Generally, a healthy and safe detox diet will not require you to starve yourself, and it contains highly nutritious food that can help to boost your metabolism.
While you are doing your colon cleanse, make sure you are getting plenty of sleep and exercise. Exercise is believed to reduce the risk of colon cancer. Light exercise is also a good way of getting the blood circulating in your body. Gentle, no-impact exercise safe and beneficial for people of all ages. There are tons of exercise programs and plans out there, or just walkingfor at least 12-15 minutes a day is beneficial to the colon function.
Detoxification is an efficient process of removing toxins from the body. The bodies natural detoxification system had simply not evolved to deal with the future man made pollutants that were to come. With the increase of toxins within the environment and foods we eat, it is not surprising that the majority of people are at a level of toxicity that is past the point that the bodies own natural detoxification system can cope with. Regular detoxification will help avoid serious problems and keep you feeling better, both mentally and physically. Detoxification kits may be bought from health food stores, or a qualified practitioner or natural physician can recommend detox products.
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