How to Screen for Colon Cancer


Colon cancer took another life.Emmy and Golden Globe winner Kirstie Alley, known for her roles on the TV sitcoms ‘Cheers’ and ‘Veronica’s Closet,’ died Monday Aged 71 after battling ‘recently discovered’ cancer According to family statement.

A representative for Alley confirmed to CNN via email Tuesday that she was diagnosed with colon cancer before her death.

colorectal cancer, Cancers of the colon and rectum, which include cancers of the colon and rectum, are the second most common cause of cancer death in 2022, behind lung and bronchial cancers, according to the National Cancer Institute’s Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Program.

According to the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, regular screenings are the best way to prevent colon cancer. The task force last year lowered the age at which to start screening for colon and rectal cancer to 45 after a spike in colorectal cancer cases among people under 50.

The new advice applies to people aged 45 to 75, including those with no symptoms, no prior diagnosis, no family history of colon or rectal disease, and no personal history of polyps, all of which are key risk factors. Polyps are lumps or tiny mushroom-like stems that grow in the colon or rectum.

If these increases are If not found and removed, they can become cancerous.

Adults aged 76 to 85 may also be screened, depending on their overall health, previous screening history and personal preference, the task force said.

Colorectal cancer screening can be done in a number of ways, including simple post-mail tests that look for blood or cancer cells in stool samples collected from patients. However, all stool tests can have false positive test results, which may require more invasive tests to rule out cancer, according to the American Cancer Society.

Stool test: While stool testing is the least invasive option, it must be done at least annually, and society Say. Anti-inflammatory pain relievers should not be taken for 7 days prior to the stool test, while red meat such as beef, lamb or liver and any citrus or vitamin C supplements should be avoided for at least three days.

If the test finds something wrong, “you’ll still need a colonoscopy to see if you have cancer,” according to the ACS. However, occult bleeding in the stool is not necessarily a sign of cancer, as ulcers, hemorrhoids, and other conditions can also cause rectal bleeding.

DNA stool test: DNA stool testing is another option, the association said. Because colorectal cancer cells can have DNA mutations, this test can screen for abnormalities in those genes. The test only needs to be done every three years, but a full stool sample must be collected and mailed.

Because the test is fairly new, patients may have issues with insurance coverage, the ACS said. Likewise, a colonoscopy is still required if anything suspicious is found.

For all of the following tests, the colon must be clean and free of fecal matter, which requires bowel preparation at home. Ways to empty your bowel include taking medicine, drinking laxatives, or using an enema the night before surgery.

this process It’s gotten a lot easier over the years with newer kits that don’t require as many liquid laxatives, so discuss your options with your doctor, ACS advises.

Colonoscopy: One of the most widely used tests, the procedure allows doctors to access the entire length of the colon and rectum using a colonoscope, “a flexible lighted tube the thickness of a finger with a small video camera on the end,” ACS said.

Typically, patients are lightly sedated throughout the procedure and wake up unaware of the procedure. Watching live video as the endoscope moves through the bowel, doctors can stop and insert small instruments into the endoscope to take samples and even remove any suspicious polyps.

Virtual Colonoscopy: The test uses a computer program that uses X-rays and computed tomography (CT) scans to make three-dimensional pictures of the inside of the colon and rectum.

This test does not require sedation. However, it does require the same bowel preparation as a regular colonoscopy.after the patient After drinking contrast dye, a thin, flexible tube is inserted into the rectum, and air is pumped in to dilate the rectum and colon for better pictures.

Like all CT scans, the procedure exposes patients to small amounts of radiation and can cause cramping until the air is out of the body, the society said. If a suspicious mass is detected, a colonoscopy is still required to remove the mass.

Flexible sigmoidoscopy: This test inserts the same flexible camera tube into the lower part of the colon. However, because the tube is only 2 feet (60 centimeters) long, the test only allows doctors to examine the entire rectum and less than half of the colon — any colon in the upper colon will be missed. The association said the test is not routinely used in the United States.

Many people avoid colonoscopies, in part because of preparation, so as a way of encouraging people to get screened, former “Today” host Katie Couric aired her 2000 The entire exam — from prep the night before to a lightly sedated Couric watching the exam as it unfolded.

“I have a nice little colon,” Couric says with a bleary-eyed grin as he watches a video projection on an oscilloscope inside the colon. “You don’t have scopes on yet, do you?” asked Couric, whose husband, Jay Monahan, died of colon cancer in 1998 at the age of 42.

“Yes! We’re doing tests. We’re almost done,” said her doctor, the late Dr. Kenneth Forde has taught for nearly 40 years at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City.

Recently, actors Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney videotaped part of their colonoscopies to raise public awareness after Reynolds lost the bet.

“Rob and I, we’re both turning 45 this year,” Reynolds said in the video. “And you know, part of this age is getting a colonoscopy. It’s a simple step that can literally — and I mean, literally — save your life.”

Doctors discovered that both actors had polyps removed during the screening.

“It’s not every day that you raise awareness about something that absolutely saves a life. That’s enough to motivate me enough to get you on my camera,” Reynolds said.

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