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Colorectal cancer is the third most common form of cancer and the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths. Because colon cancer progresses very slowly, it may go undetected for several years – and because of low detection rates, it is responsible for thousands of deaths every year. Many symptoms of colon cancer are often interpreted as other conditions, making colon cancer screening critical for accurate diagnosis.
While scary, colon cancer can best be treated when detected early, and in cases where patients have pre-cancerous polyps, the detection and removal of these lesions can effectively PREVENT the development of cancer – which is why we believe it’s critical to always visit your doctor with any colorectal health concerns.
The most effective means of detecting colorectal cancer in its early stages is through colonoscopy. These tests will help your doctor determine whether or not you are suffering from the disease, or if you have changes which, if left alone could develop into a cancer. If it is caught in the early stages, the prognosis is very good for treatment.
Colorectal cancer is typically felt to develop within certain types of polyps which commonly develop in the colon and rectum. If left unchecked, these polyps can develop into cancers which can become quite large before they can be detected, and which may spread to lymph nodes, the liver, and to other structures. Since the symptoms early on in the disease are minimal, many patients don’t know they are affected until the disease has progressed substantially. A screening colonoscopy can often find these lesions at an early stage, increasing the likelihood of a successful treatment, or find suspicious polyps before they have developed into cancer. The removal of these polyps can then effectively prevent the development of cancer!
Sometimes patients mistake the signs of colon cancer for hemorrhoids, or vice-versa. That’s why accurate diagnosis is essential. If you are concerned about these symptoms, find a physician now.