Whether you’re worried about developing colon cancer, making decisions about treatment, or trying to stay well after treatment, our staff of highly trained health care professionals can help.
Colon cancer is the third most common cancer diagnosed in both men and women in the United States. The lifetime risk of developing colon cancer is about 1 in 20 or 5%. Although this risk is slightly lower in women than men, it is expected to cause about 50,000 deaths during 2015.
Living a healthy lifestyle can help reduce the risk of cancer, but combining healthy living with prevention and early detection can save lives. Testing, in the form of a colonoscopy can often find colon cancer early, when it’s most treatable, or sometimes even prevent it before it starts.
If you are 50 or older, it is important to get screened for colon cancer every five years. Why 50? The risk of colon cancer increases with age and more than 90% of cases are diagnosed in individuals 50 and older. With certain types of screening, including colonoscopies, this cancer can be prevented by removing polyps (growths on the wall of the intestine) before they become cancerous. A family history of colon cancer, polyps, and/or inflammatory bowl diseases increases the risk of being diagnosed with colon cancer.
How can I get screened?
BCHC can help in your preventative measures against colon cancer. With three four trained physicians, routine screenings can be made with your convenience in mind, close to home.
A routine colonoscopy, performed at BCHC, allows for our providers to view the inner lining of your large intestine and colon to look for and find any ulcers, polyps, tumors, and areas of inflammation or bleeding.
To schedule a routine colonoscopy, talk with your primary health care provider to see if you are a candidate for screening.
For additional questions, contact our Surgery Department by calling 319-332-0999.
How can I reduce my risk?
- Get to and stay at a healthy weight throughout life; stay lean without being underweight.
- Be physically active; limit the time you spend sitting, lying down, watching TV, etc.
- Eat at least 2½ cups of vegetables and fruits each day.
- Choose whole grains over refined grain products.
- Limit the amount of red meat and processed meat you eat, including pork.
- If you drink alcohol, limit the amount to 1 drink per day for women, 2 per day for men.
- Don’t use tobacco in any form.