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Colon Cancer Awareness

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Call Saint Luke's Concierge at 816-932-5100 to get a referral.

Colorectal Cancer Is Preventable

Colorectal cancer kills 50,000 Americans each year, making it the third most deadly cancer in the United State. The good news: It’s often preventable, and the chances get better with early detection.

Why should I get screened?

Colorectal cancer rarely produces symptoms. Routine screenings are critical to test for precancerous polyps, which can be removed before they turn cancerous.

What is the process?

The most common test is a colonoscopy, a short, painless procedure. A doctor uses a thin, flexible tube with a camera to search the large intestine and find and remove any polyps. Then they’re sent for a biopsy to determine whether they are cancerous. About 20 to 30 percent of patients will require additional testing.

One of Saint Luke’s specialists will tell you everything to expect before, during, and after your colonoscopy. To prepare for the procedure, you’ll be on a diet of clear liquids for 24 hours beforehand and take laxatives to clear the colon. The procedure lasts about an hour, and you’ll be sedated the whole time.

When should I get screened?

If you are healthy and have no history of colorectal cancer in your family, screenings typically begin at age 50. African-Americans should start at age 45, and people with a family history should begin even earlier. Call Saint Luke’s Concierge at 816-932-5100 today to get a referral to a gastroenterologist.

What else can I do?

A healthy, active lifestyle is one of the best preventive measures for any cancer. Eat a healthy diet high in fiber to help stop polyps from developing, exercise regularly, and avoid smoking.