Colorectal cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer death in the United States. The American Cancer Society estimates that approximately 144,000 cases of colorectal cancer will be diagnosed this year and nearly 52,000 people will die from the disease. But it doesn’t have to be that way. If more people underwent screening for colorectal cancer, we might see those numbers drastically decline. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. Scheduling a colonoscopy falls pretty low on most people’s to-do list—just above having a root canal.
“Screening is prevention,” insists Richard Goldberg, MD, physician-in-chief at the James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute. “A colonoscopy is not like a mammogram, which is just early detection. It can prevent cancer.” That’s because most colorectal cancers develop from abnormal growths in the colon or rectum called polyps. It takes about 10 years for a benign polyp to become cancerous, but removing polyps during a colonoscopy can actually stop cancer from forming.
The full article featured in Women Magazine can be found here.