Early detection improves odds of beating colon cancer

A cancer we don’t really like to talk about happens to be one of the deadliest. Colorectal cancer is the second deadliest cancer in the United States. It kills more people every year than breast cancer or prostate cancer. Only lung cancer causes more deaths. Nearly 150,000 new cases of colorectal cancer are diagnosed every year and more than 50,000 people die of the disease, according to the Cancer Research Foundation of America. Fortunately, this is one of the most preventable forms of cancer. Doctors at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas said that early detection makes colorectal cancer 75 to 85 percent treatable. The cancer starts in colon polyps, and if these are removed before they become cancerous, it greatly reduces the chance that cancer will develop. Colon polyps don’t really have any obvious symptoms, so the key to preventing colon cancer is regular screenings. Dr. Clifford Simmang, a surgeon at UT Southwestern Medical, recommended regular screenings for colon cancer for all people’men and women’over the age of 50. Lifestyle factors also make a difference for preventable colon cancer. A low-fat diet high in fruits and vegetables, along with regular exercise, appears to help lower cancer risks. Simmang said a healthy diet and exercise keep the immune system functioning better.

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