An interview with Shekar Narayanan, MD, FACS, FASCRS, colorectal surgeon and certified MD Anderson Cancer Network® physician.
Last year, 3,250 Hoosiers were diagnosed with colorectal cancer and 1,170 died from colorectal cancers. Colorectal cancer is highly treatable if detected early, so why are the death numbers high in our state?
One reason is that colorectal cancer is often diagnosed after it has become more advanced. Currently Hoosiers are behind the national norm in terms of cancer screening in most categories. So who should be screened and when?
Men and women age 50 should have a colonoscopy of their large intestine (called the colon) and the rectum.
If you have a family history of colon cancer you are at high risk. In fact, 25 percent of colorectal cancer cases have a family history. Being African American or having (unusually large) polyps that show precancerous changes within the cells will also put you in a high-risk category. It is recommended that high-risk groups be screened at age 45 and repeat colonoscopies within five years.
When it comes to screening for colorectal cancer, there are options. continue reading ...