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Colon Cancer Is Commonly Diagnosed But Most Treatable

Highlight of the Colon

Colorectal cancer begins in the inner lining of the large bowel. It is one of the most commonly diagnosed cancers in the United States, but the good news is that it is also one of the most treatable. Early detection of the disease can reduce a person's risk of death by 90 percent, according to the Colon Cancer Alliance.

Screening Saves Lives

Regular screening can often find colorectal cancer early, when it is most likely to be curable. The majority of colon cancers begin as polyps, which are small growths on the lining of the colon. Colonoscopies are currently the best method to detect and remove colon polyps. Polyps that are discovered can be removed while the screening is taking place, thus eliminating any chance that they can turn into cancer.

How is a Colonoscopy Performed?

The day before the procedure, a clear liquid diet and a bowel cleansing preparation are used to clean out the colon. That is by far the most unpleasant part of the procedure, but perhaps the most important. A well-cleaned out colon will best enable the gastroenterologist to detect polyps, which can be as small as a few millimeters in size. Using a colonoscope — a thin, flexible tube with a digital video camera — the doctor is able to locate and remove any polyps in the colon. The patient is comfortably sedated while the colonoscopy is being performed.

It is recommended that people age 50 and over and those with a family history of colon cancer are screened regularly.

Learn more about colonoscopy at Drexel Gastroenterology.

About Drexel Gastroenterology

Drexel Gastroenterology expertly treats patients with digestive health disorders. Our regionally and nationally recognized experts work with your primary care physician to ensure the highest standard of care. Our patients have access to Drexel Medicine's Center for Digestive Health, which has been recognized for quality and safety by the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE) and provides outpatient colonoscopies in a comfortable setting.

The information on these pages is provided for general information only and should not be used for diagnosis or treatment, or as a substitute for consultation with a physician or health care professional. If you have specific questions or concerns about your health, you should consult your health care professional.

The images being used are for illustrative purposes only; any person depicted is a model.

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