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Colon cancer rates drop due to screenings

Written by Community Health Network on 3/17/2014 12:20:00 PM

According to a report published in Cancer, colon cancer rates have fallen by 30 percent over the past decade in people over age 50.

"This is one of the great public health success stories of the decade," says Richard Wender, chief cancer control officer at the American Cancer Society, whose researchers wrote the report, published on Monday. 

The reason for the drop in cancer rate? Preventive screenings

Screening rates have climbed in recent years. The number of Americans ages 50 to 64 who have had a colonoscopy has nearly tripled, growing from 19 percent in 2000 to 55 percent in 2010.

Use of colonoscopy also rose among those age 65 and over, growing from 55 percent in 2000 to 64 percent in 2010, according to the new report. 

Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States. The American Cancer society estimates that 136,830 Americans will be diagnosed with the disease this year and that 50,310 will die from it.

"Screening colonoscopies provide a very important way to decrease these statistics," said Dr. Ninad Shah, gastroenterologist with Community Physician Network. "We know that colon cancer develops from colon polyps. During a colonoscopy we look at the walls of the colon for polyps. By removing any colon polyps we remove the tissue that can develop into colon cancer."

 
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A colonoscopy is the most thorough test for colorectal cancer. If you are over the age of 50, schedule a colonoscopy by calling 800-777-7775.


Tobacco use increases risk of complications after colorectal surgery

Written by Community Health Network on 11/4/2013 9:00:00 AM

(Medscape—October, 28, 2013) Increased tobacco use by colorectal cancer patients decreases positive outcomes after surgery. A study in the Annals of Surgery by A Sharma et al. looked at 47,574 patients with colorectal polyps or cancer. Of this group, the smokers had a 30 percent increased risk for complications and a 50 percent increased risk for death after colorectal surgery. Smoking risk is evaluated based on duration and pack-years. Ex-smokers, defined as those who quit at least a year prior to surgery, had better outcomes than current smokers. 

(Source: Sharma A, Deeb AP, Iannuzzi JC, Rickles AS, Monson JR, Fleming FJ Ann Surg. 2013; 258:296-300)


Sedentary men at greater risk for reoccurring adenomas

Written by Community Health Network on 11/3/2013 9:00:00 AM

(Medical News.net – October 30, 2013) Sedentary men are at greater risk for developing reoccurring adenomas or polyps, which are benign tumors in the colon or rectum known to be precursors to colorectal cancer, according to Columbia University medical researchers presenting their study at the 12th Annual AACR International Conference. 

"Sedentary behavior is emerging as a risk factor for poor health," said Christine L. Sardo Molmenti, PhD, MPH, Columbia University. "Even among those who fulfill daily recommendations for physical activity, lengthy periods of sedentary behavior have been associated with early morbidity and mortality, leading to the 'active couch potato' paradigm.” The physicians suggest reducing prolonged sitting time.


Family history of polyps significant factor in colorectal cancer

Written by Community Health Network on 11/2/2013 9:00:00 AM

(US News & World Report -- October 25, 2013) Cancer researchers at the Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah say even distant relatives have a higher colorectal cancer (CRC) risk, but up to 10 percent of CRCs are being missed by current colorectal cancer screening guidelines

Family history of adenomatous polyps is a significant risk factor for CRC. They analyzed 126,936 patients between the ages of 50 and 80. All had a colonoscopy screening: 43 percent had adenomas (polyps) and 4 percent had advanced adenomas.

Overall, the reported CRC risk is greatest for first-degree relatives (35-70%) who have polyps, but second and third-degree relatives also have a smaller but significant increased risk. 

"The biggest surprise was the percentage of missed cancers under the current guidelines. We figured there would be a few percent, but 10% is a large number,” said the study’s author Dr. N. Jewel Samadder. "Our results support the current screening guidelines, but they also raise the issue of whether some level of more aggressive screening should be considered, not only for first- degree relatives of patients with polyps diagnosed at or below age 60, but also for those first- degree relatives of patients diagnosed above age 60." 

(Source: Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah Oct. 22, 2013 news release; study published in the Cancer journal)

Ready to schedule your colonoscopy? 

Please call 800-777-7775 to be referred to a Community gastroenterologist.


Red meat linked to colon cancer risk increase

Written by Community Health Network on 11/1/2013 9:00:00 AM

(Medical News Today – October 28, 2013) At the recent American Society of Human Genetics conference, University of California researchers reported one in three adults have a common genetic variant (rs4143094 in the GATA3 gene region) and if they predominately consume red or processed meat their risk for colorectal cancer significantly increases

They analyzed 2.7 million genetic sequences to determine if there is a link between consuming red and processed meat and colorectal cancer, as well as 9,287 adults with colorectal cancer and 9117 healthy individuals. These U.S. researchers also discovered a different yet positive genetic variant (rs1269486 on chromosome 8) in people and if they eat more fruit, vegetables and fiber, that may lower one's risk for colorectal cancer. 

The researchers concluded additional research is needed to determine which mechanisms in the genes regulate the intake of certain foods and impact one's risk for colorectal cancer.


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April is Testicular Cancer Awareness Month

Did you know testicular cancer affects men as young as 15? Visit our website to learn more about testicular cancer and how to protect yourself with a self-exam.

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