Tip Sheet: March/Colorectal Cancer Awareness MonthHouston, TX - 3/12/2013
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Early detection of colorectal cancer
Dr. Eric Haas, colorectal surgeon, The Methodist Hospital, Houston
A colonoscopy is one of the most effective ways to screen for colorectal cancers. Men and women who have a family history of these cancers should get their first colon cancer screening at age 40. If there is no family history of colorectal cancers, it is recommended people first be screened at 50 and every 10 years after that.
More than 140,000 Americans are diagnosed with colorectal cancer annually. If caught early, colorectal cancer is one of the most curable. Some common symptoms of colon cancer include blood in the stool, changes in bowel habits and abdominal pain. Many patients do not have symptoms until the cancer is more advanced, so it is important to undergo a screening colonoscopy regularly, even if there are no symptoms.
Linking diet and colorectal cancer
Kari Kooi, registered dietician, The Methodist Hospital, Houston
Lifestyle choices can lower your risk of colorectal cancer, particularly diet and physical activity. Below are ways to help reduce your risk of colorectal cancer.
Coffee may reduce the risk of colon cancer
Dr. Eamonn Quigley, chief, division of gastroenterology and hepatology
A recent study suggests that drinking coffee may reduce the risk for colon cancer. Researchers analyzed data on 500,000 individuals over an average of ten years. The study assessed the relationship between coffee consumption and colon and rectal cancer.
In the study, participants who drank an average of four to five cups of coffee a day had a 15 to 25 percent reduced chance of developing colon cancer. It did not seem to matter whether the coffee was caffeinated or decaf. Tea, on the other hand, seemed to have no impact on colon cancer risk.