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Phoebe Putney Hospital
Every year in USA- more than 140,000 new cases of colon cancer are detected and 55,000 deaths are attributed to colon cancer- second leading cause of cancer death.

Nearly all colon cancers develop from colon polyps. The estimated time from adenomatous polyp to cancer is approx. 5-10 years. Therefore, early detection of polyps and removal is very important in prevention and treatment.

And colonoscopy is the gold standard for detecting colon polyps and cancer.

It's estimated that 70 percent of colorectal cancer deaths can be prevented by regularly screening those at risk with colonoscopy - every 10 years for average individuals. In other words, if Americans over the age of 50 would get a regular colonoscopy, we would see a dramatic drop in deaths from colorectal cancer.

90% of patients survive more than 5 years if diagnosed early.

Less than 10% survive for 5 years if diagnosed late.
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Increased risk for colon cancer:
1. Advancing age- more than 50 yrs.
2. Family history of colon cancer or polyps
3. High fat, low fiber diet
4. Prevoius history of colon polyps- specially adenomatous, or villous.
5. History of ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease
6. Breast cancer or genital cancer in women like uterine cancer

Symptoms of colon cancer:
1. Rectal bleeding
2. Change in bowel habits, like increasing constipation or diarrhea
3. Anemia, weight loss
4. Abdominal pain
5. Bowel obstruction with nausea and vomitings
6. Sometimes- no symptoms

Some frequently asked questions by patients:
1. What is a polyp?
2. Are most of the polyps malignant/ or cancerous.
3. When should I have my first colonoscopy?
4. How often should the colonoscopy be repeated?
5. Is it a painful procedure, and what are the complications?
6. When somebody has colon cancer- does it mean they need colostomy?
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