Colon polyps or small tumors can develop in the inner lining of the colon. While most are benign, some known as adenomatosis polyps are pre-cancerous.
Polyp size correlates with its likelihood to be cancerous. While those less than one centimeter in size have only a 1% chance of being cancerous, those of 2 centimeters or more have a 40% chance of being malignant. Overall, 5% of tumors are likely to lead to cancer.
RISKS OF COLON CANCER
Modern medicine does not know what causes colon cancer or why healthy cells become cancerous, continue to divide, and form a tumor that becomes cancerous.
Research indicates certain individuals are at particular risk for developing cancer. These include:
- Age over 50
- African American descent
- Personal history of polyps, colorectal cancer, or inflammatory intestinal conditions
- Inherited syndromes such as Lynch syndrome or familial adenomatous polyposis
- Family history of colon cancer
- Heavy alcohol use
- Radiation treatment for cancer
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Low fiber, high-fat diets especially among those who eat large quantities of process or red meat
COLON CANCER SCREENING
135,000 cases of colon and rectal cancer are diagnosed each year, especially among people over 50. Early detection through screening, before the cancer spreads to lymph nodes or other organs, can prevent the disease from spreading and increase survival rates.
When polyps develop, they often do so without symptoms. After age 45, colorectal cancer screening and colonoscopy are frequently used tools to detect polyps, which are removed during the procedure and sent for testing.
While you cannot change many factors that correlate with polyp growth, such as age, race, and personal or family history of polyps, you can possibly prevent the development of polyps by stopping smoking or heavy alcohol use, changing your diet to reduce red meat consumption,and increase fiber, and adopt a more active lifestyle.
SCHEDULE COLON POLYP SCREENING AT OASIS ADVANCED GASTROENTEROLOGY
Colorectal screening to detect colon polyp growth can be invaluable in diagnosing the presence of cancer. Contact Oasis Advanced Gastroenterology in Palm Springs to schedule a colon screening with Dr. Asgeri.
Request an appointment online or call 760-699-7607.