A recent New York Times article reported the untimely death of Cornell University’s first female president due to colon cancer. The essay is not so much a eulogy as an exhortation to make colon cancer screening far more common and accessible than it is today:
I do know that colon cancer can nearly always be prevented through detection and removal of its precursor lesions, commonly called adenomas or adenomatous polyps. I also know that it can most often be cured if one of several screening tests leads to early detection, before the cancer has spread beyond its point of origin.
The piece describes colonoscopy as “the gold standard for detecting cancer and removing precancerous polyps,” and encourages more people to get screened, at younger ages, than most people currently do. Although the screening age is 50 years old for generally healthy patients without a family history of colon cancer and 45 years old for african american patients, adenomatous polyps have been observed and removed in younger patients as well that have been symptomatic or asymptomatic.
But of course colonoscopy is more than just a screening procedure; your physician may also remove polyps found during the procedure at the same time. This is, in other words, one of the few preventive diagnostic measures which may also include treatment in the bargain, markedly improving patient prognosis.
If you are due to get a colonoscopy in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, Newport Beach, or Huntington Beach, call the experts at the Proctology Institute, or click here to set up an appointment today.