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    Buddy bracelet spreads awareness of colorectal cancer

     

    Colorectal cancer is 90 percent preventable and 90 percent treatable when detected early, yet it continues to be the second leading cause of cancer-related death in the United States. To help spread the message about the importance of early detection, the Cancer Research and Prevention Foundation and its 54 partners have joined together to celebrate National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month by introducing the "Buddy Bracelet," a unique and powerful way to promote public awareness of the disease. "Today, in a sea of colored bracelets, the blue Buddy Bracelet stands out by creating a clever way for people to take their health into their own hands," said Carolyn Aldigй, president and founder of the Cancer Research and Prevention Foundation. "The bracelet spreads the message that colorectal cancer is preventable, treatable and beatable." Launched in 2004 to celebrate National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, the Buddy Bracelet reminds those who wear it to get screened for colorectal cancer. After the person is screened, he or she gives the bracelet to a family member, friend or colleague, passing on the powerful message about talking with a health care professional about colorectal cancer. The bracelet then is transferred from that person to another person and so on. The bracelet's theme, "Wear it, share it, because you care," is a message that could save thousands of lives. People at average risk for colorectal cancer should get screened starting at age 50. Younger people can help support the Buddy Bracelet effort by learning about their families' medical histories, starting a dialogue about colorectal cancer with their health care professionals and reminding loved ones to get screened.

         
    A healthy colon is imperative for keeping the body healthy and detoxified

     

    With today's active life style's and less than adequate eating habits a healthy colon is imperative for keeping the body healthy and detoxified. Part of the reason so many Americans have an unhealthy colon is the lack of fiber benefits to their diet. Having a healthy colon is the key to long term health and finding good colon healthy recipes is one way to help keep your body healthy. Constipation, digestive distress, and mucous in your stools are just a few signs that your colon might not be completely healthy, and a healthy colon is absolutely necessary for a healthy body. Don't let an unhealthy colon become a breeding ground for toxic poisons, parasites, disease and death. Colon therapy can also help rid the body of parasites without a need for the heavy drugs usually prescribed to treat them. There are a number of colon cleansing products on the market today that will cleanse the colon as well as expel parasites. Diets of saturated fats, meats, sugars and processed foods contribute to impacted feces along the inside of the colon wall. However, eating a diet with insufficient fiber is like cleansing dishes without a sponge. A healthy diet full of fiber and probiotics (good bacteria and yeast), plenty of rest and water, and regular exercise keeps your colon healthy. The problem is that no one who eats a "normal" diet is able to escape the gradual formation of caked deposits and build-ups on the lining of the colon. Many people might be amazed and disgusted at what actually comes out of an average "healthy" person during a colonic treatment. If you want to prevent colon toxicity, chronic disease and premature aging, cleansing your colon is essential. Colon cleansing is the best defense against colon toxicity developing, as well as maintaining a healthy diet and active lifestyle. Take charge of this important bodily function: Get started cleaning your colon today. There are several products that we believe work very well for getting and keeping a clean and healthy colon and digestive tract. A colon cleansing can actually assist in weight loss as well, in fact some have reported up to a twenty five (25) pound loss almost over night. A normal healthy colon is the cornerstone of a sound nutritional program assuring normal assimilation of nutritional supplements as well as dietary food nutrients. A healthy colon is truly essential to one's overall health, especially when you consider that literally everything you eat ends up in your bowels as toxins. One of the most important things you can do to keep a healthy colon is to cleanse your body of toxins, pollutants and impacted fecal matter. The recommended amount of fiber everyone needs to maintain a healthy colon is generally between 20 and 35 grams of fiber a day. We place significant importance on the products we use to brush our teeth, wash our hair, and cleanse our bodies. Find out as much information as possible, and speak to people who have actually used colon cleansing products and services. The elimination of undigested food and other waste products are as important as the proper digest and assimilation of food stuffs. Psyllium husk and bentonite clay based herbal colon cleansing products are safe and we recommend them as part of your overall getting healthy plan.

         
    A mother s battle with advanced colon cancer

     

    In the fall of 2003, Bridget Beranek, a 44-year-old wife and mother of two young girls, was gearing up for a busy holiday season filled with family functions, parties and shopping. So when she began to lose her appetite and energy, Bridget initially chalked it up to holiday stress. When the New Year came and went, but Bridget's symptoms were still present, she knew it was more than stress. After several visits to her primary care physician, Bridget saw an internist, and underwent a colonoscopy. In March 2004, she was diagnosed with stage IV colorectal cancer that had spread to her liver. "I know it sounds clichй, but I couldn't believe this was happening to me," said Bridget. "Scheduling a colonoscopy was not a priority for me because I was under 50 and lived a healthy lifestyle. I ate right, didn't drink or smoke, and went regularly for a mammogram. One thing I learned from this experience is that colon cancer is a disease more people, especially women, need to be better informed about." The American Cancer Society reports that colorectal cancer, commonly referred to as colon cancer, is the second-leading cause of cancer-related death in the United States, second only to lung cancer. It is also the third most common cancer diagnosed in both men and women. Risk factors for colon cancer include a family or personal history of the disease, intestinal polyps or chronic inflammatory bowel disease, obesity, a high-fat diet, and being age 50 or older. Symptoms may include changes in bowel habits, abdominal discomfort, vomiting, fatigue, blood in the stool or unexplained weight loss, though many people are diagnosed without any symptoms. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends men and women over age 50 who have an average risk for colon cancer receive screening. Higher-risk patients, such as those with a family history of the disease, should talk with their physicians about when they should begin screening. Fortunately for Bridget, a new treatment for metastatic colorectal cancer had just been approved by the FDA, only weeks before her diagnosis. Her oncologist decided to treat her with a combination of traditional chemotherapy and a targeted therapy called Avastin® (bevacizumab). Though she occasionally has side effects such as fatigue, Bridget's cancer has responded to the treatment and she is doing well. She is thankful to be able to spend time with her husband and daughters, and to practice her favorite hobby, photography. Typically, metastatic colorectal cancer patients undergo surgery followed by chemotherapy. Today's targeted therapies, which are designed to attack cancer cells in a more specific way than chemotherapy, provide an additional tool for doctors to use in treating this disease. Avastin, for example, is an angiogenesis inhibitor, which means it interferes with the blood vessels that feed cancer tumors, to help prevent tumors from growing and spreading to other parts of the body. Avastin is approved for use in combination with intravenous 5-fluorouracil-based chemotherapy for first-line treatment of patients with metastatic colorectal cancer. It is important to keep in mind that Avastin has been associated with side effects in colorectal cancer. Serious side effects occur rarely, but can include gastrointestinal perforation and slow or incomplete wound healing and blood clot complications. Other more common side effects seen in clinical trials include nosebleeds, high blood pressure, proteinuria (too much protein in the urine, which may be a sign of kidney damage), weakness, pain, diarrhea, and a reduced white blood cell count. Because everyone is different, it is not possible to predict what side effects an individual may experience. If you have questions about side effects or treatment with Avastin, talk to your doctor or another member of the health-care team.

         
    Caregivers play key role in disease management of older colon cancer patients

     

    Colon cancer patients who are 65 and older may benefit from a caregiver's involvement, and caregivers may ultimately have a major impact on patients' disease management, according to a survey of oncologists commissioned by the Alliance for Aging Research. Ninety percent of oncologists feel that caregivers have a moderate to major impact on the decision-making process. Unfortunately, only about 64 percent of colon cancer patients in this age group have caregivers' support. "Physicians should encourage patients to enlist a caregiver and involve them in the treatment decision-making process," said Dr. Stuart Lichtman, associate attending physician at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. More than half of oncologists who agree that colon cancer patients 65 and older have a more difficult time managing their disease than younger patients also agree that these patients are generally less proactive about researching available treatment options. Seventy-seven percent said that such patients experienced better disease outcomes with a caregiver's involvement due to increased communication. Additionally, caregivers play an important role in providing emotional support, participating in doctors' visits and in decisions about disease management options and providing transportation to appointments. "It is clear that caregivers are key to ensuring that colon cancer patients 65 and older receive the best care," said Daniel Perry, executive director of Alliance for Aging Research. "Since managing colon cancer can be a complicated and confusing process especially for the aging population, a caregiver, whether a spouse, child, friend or neighbor, should be actively involved." "Crossing Jordan" star Miguel Ferrer, who lost his father, Josй Ferrer, to colon cancer, is partnering with the Alliance for Aging Research in a program called "Caring for the Aging," to educate colon cancer patients and caregivers about the importance of active involvement in the treatment of the disease. This awareness program is sponsored by sanofi-aventis. "The involvement of my stepmother helped ease my father's decision-making process as he went down a difficult path," Ferrer said. "I encourage all caregivers and family members to become actively involved and ask the right questions to ensure the best possible outcomes for their loved one."

         
    Colon cancer

     

    Colon cancer occurs in the large intestine or the large bowel and is a very common kind of cancer, second only to lung cancer in occurrence. The risk of colon cancer is higher in certain groups and ethnicities, as well as in people living in Western industrialized countries. The positive side is that colon cancer also has a very high rate of cure and survival. Colon cancer is also known as colo-rectal cancer. The large intestine has two sections: the upper portion is the colon and the lower portion is the anus or the rectum. Cancer in the large intestine can spread over both regions, which gives it the name colo-rectal cancer. The colon absorbs water and nutrients during food digestion. The rectum, on the other hand, serves to expel waste material from the body. There are four parts to the colon, and cancer can start developing in any of these parts. The cancerous growth in the colon usually starts as a polyp. A polyp is a small tissue growth. This polyp will grow into the colon and if left untreated it can develop into cancer over a period of time. A specific type of polyp, called adenomacan, is the primary seed of colon cancer. On an average, it takes 5-10 years for a polyp to reach a diameter of about .5 inch. This takes a further 5-10 years to develop into cancer. Though 20 years seems enough to detect and treat cancerous development, it is difficult to discern any growth for several years. Thankfully, there are many diagnostic techniques available to successfully detect any cancerous growth or polyps. Some common techniques used in diagnosing and treating colon cancer are barium enemas, sigmoidoscopy, colonoscopy, and biopsy. Apart from this, patients can be screened to discern any blood in the stool or unexplained iron deficiency to find out if there is any polyp or cancer developing. Colon cancer is a widespread disease, and a lot of research is underway to increase survival rates and aid early diagnosis. There are also many foundations that aid colon cancer patients and provide information to people.

         
    Colon cancer the maori factor

     

    Recent research by a New Zealand University team into colon cancer has uncovered a very interesting phenomenon that sheds light on why colon cancer is almost non-existent in the Maori race. Naturally this fact created a spin-off from the original study because if the reason why the indigenous Maori people avoided this disease could be found they would gain precious information to help the constant fight to prevent colon cancer. Initially they looked at diet and discovered that both red and purple berries and fruits formed a higher proportion of their diet than it did with non-indigenous New Zealanders. Based upon common practice they were aware of the anti-oxidant value of fruit and assumed that non-Maori people gained the same amount of anti-oxidants from other fruit and vegetables. This appeared to cancel out any benefit the Maoris gained by having a diet high in red and purple fruits and vegetables. That was until they decided to check anti-oxidant levels individually. The results of the independent checks of anti-oxidant levels across a wide range of fruits and vegetables discovered that rather than these levels being the same, as commonly thought at the start of the experiments, they vary widely. For instance fruits with red or purple skins like berries, plums, red apples and even red skinned sweet potato have around four times the anti-oxidant levels of other fruits and vegetables. At this point the entire project started to make sense and the higher levels of ant-oxidants in a traditional Maori diet pointed to the reason for such low levels of colon cancer within the race. The research continues today but based upon these findings there is strong reason to eat more strawberries, raspberries, redcurrants, cherries, plums, red apples and sweet potato in our daily diets. In fact any fruit or vegetable with a red or purple skin contains around four times the anti-oxidant level of other fruits and vegetables and therefore should be utilized in our diets for health reasons. Somebody is bound to raise the question of whether frozen is as a good as fresh fruit. Here I can only give a personal opinion and state that whenever we cook, or freeze, foodstuffs we change the chemical make-up of the food and therefore it is unlikely to be the same as eating it fresh and uncooked. But, if frozen is all that is available then I guess its better than nothing. People interested in this article may also be interested in visiting: recipesmania/Iodinedeficiency. html This article is copyright © David McCarthy 2005. It may be reproduced in its entirety with no additions.

         
    Colon cancer affects men and women equally

     

    Most cases of colon cancer begin as small, noncancerous (benign) clumps of cells called adenomatous polyps. Cancerous tumors found in the colon or rectum also may spread to other parts of the body. Cancer of the colon and rectum (colorectal cancer) is a malignant tumor arising from the inner wall of the large intestine. If signs and symptoms of colon cancer do appear, they may include changes in bowel habits, blood in your stool, persistent cramping, gas or abdominal pain. Since colon cancer can grow for years without causing any symptoms, it's best to get regular colon cancer screenings. Almost all men and women age 50 and older should have a colon cancer screening. Screening tests can help prevent colorectal cancer by finding pre-cancerous polyps so they can be removed before they turn into cancer. For normal risk individuals, screening tests begin at age 50 and the preferred approach is a screening colonoscopy every 10 years; an alternate strategy consists of annual stool test for blood and a flexible sigmoidoscopic exam every 3 to 5 years. Special screening programs are used for those with a family history of colorectal cancer. Colonoscopic surveillance (also called screening colonoscopy) needs to be available at more frequent intervals for individuals at high risk for colon cancer (for instance, those with a personal history of colorectal cancer or adenomatous polyps; family history of colorectal cancer; non-hereditary polyposis; colorectal cancer; or a pre-disposing condition such as inflammatory bowel disease. Since your genes cannot be changed, if there is a family history of colon polyps or cancer, a colonoscopy should be performed to remove the polyps before they become malignant. In the area of prevention, researchers are looking at the effects of curcumin (found in curry), resveratrol (found in red wine), ginger and the Mediterranean diet on the growth and development of colon cancer. Recent research suggests that a high fiber, low-fat diet plays a role in prevention; how great a role it plays is unclear. Although the exact cause of colorectal cancer is not known, it is possible to prevent many colon cancers through: diet and exercise. It is important to manage the risk factors you can control, such as diet and exercise. A detox program, in most cases shall include a mental shift in attitude towards diet, improving nutrition, removing toxins, returning the desired flora in your internal system, maintaining a balanced pH level in the body and improving the overall mind and body relationship. Diet plays an important role in preventing the development of colon cancer. Diets high in fat and low in fruits and vegetables, such as those that include red meat, fried foods and high-fat dairy products, may increase the risk of colorectal cancer. A body cleanse diet, is a diet that aims to clean and remove harmful toxins from your body. A well known detox diet for your body is the increasingly popular lemon detox diet, which incorporates a number of ingredients and requires you to consume a drink of these ingredients once everymorning, then drinking water with a hint of lemon juice throughout theday. Generally, a healthy and safe detox diet will not require you to starve yourself, and it contains highly nutritious food that can help to boost your metabolism. While you are doing your colon cleanse, make sure you are getting plenty of sleep and exercise. Exercise is believed to reduce the risk of colon cancer. Light exercise is also a good way of getting the blood circulating in your body. Gentle, no-impact exercise safe and beneficial for people of all ages. There are tons of exercise programs and plans out there, or just walkingfor at least 12-15 minutes a day is beneficial to the colon function. Detoxification is an efficient process of removing toxins from the body. The bodies natural detoxification system had simply not evolved to deal with the future man made pollutants that were to come. With the increase of toxins within the environment and foods we eat, it is not surprising that the majority of people are at a level of toxicity that is past the point that the bodies own natural detoxification system can cope with. Regular detoxification will help avoid serious problems and keep you feeling better, both mentally and physically. Detoxification kits may be bought from health food stores, or a qualified practitioner or natural physician can recommend detox products.

         
    Colon cancer and colon cancer prevention

     

    The colon is one of the most important organs in the body. It’s intended purpose is to return water and nutrients into our bodies and help us eliminate waste. American diets are low in fiber and digestive enzymes. This causes the body produce digestive enzymes at the expense of immune system enzymes. The low level of fiber prevents the colon from cleaning itself and causes a buildup of toxic matter in the colon. The buildup of toxic matter in the colon can lead to many health problems, the most serious of which is colon cancer. The weakened immune system is unable to fight the disease. Colon cleansing helps the body rid itself of toxic matter. This in turn allows the colon to aid in the digestive process and allows the production of immune system enzymes to return to normal. There are several ways to cleanse your colon. One is hydrotherapy, where a small disposable plastic hose is used to irrigate the colon. A licensed professional must perform this procedure. Similarly, enemas are often thought to cleanse the colon, but they have been shown to only clean the bottom portion and rectum. Herbal supplements are often used in colon cleansing as well. A plant product called psyllium is most usually the base of these treatments. The psyllium’s fiber expands when it comes in contact with water, and the bulky material causes the bowel to contract and expel waste. There are also oxygen based cleaners that turn the waste into liquid or gas and help it to be expelled. Another way is to do juice fasting. Juice fasting gives the entire digestive system a much needed rest and for optimal functioning to take place once again after the break. In a nutshell, colon cancer can be preventable. If you find yourself having meals that are low in fiber, try doing a colon cleanse. A clean colon will mean a healthy colon and a better immune system for your body.

         
    Colon cancer causes revealed

     

    Colon cancer is a major illness and one that can cause life altering effects. In fact, this form of cancer is one of the most common in the nation. Most colon cancer patients suffer from polyps, which are abnormal cells that form clusters. When normal cells begin to transform, a potential problem arises. As time progresses, these growths get bigger and can lead to the development of cancer. A vast majority of sufferers have a family history with the disease. In addition, the risk of developing colon cancer increases with age and is most common in those ages 50 and up. Certain individuals simply carry the genetic makeup, which can be identified through a series of tests, that may lead to colon cancer. While there are no certain ways to pinpoint exactly who develops cancer, or why, there are several risk factors that may increase an individual’s chance of developing the illness. Among them, a previous battle with cancer, a family history with colon cancer, poor diets, smoking and obesity. With so many risk factors, one may wonder if there is anything that they can do in order to prevent colon cancer. Studies show that a lot of physical activity or exercise and a low-fat, high-fiber diet may help to reduce the risks. In addition, certain medicines may also help to prevent the disease. As is the case with many ailments, symptoms are often very similar to those of other diseases. It can be extremely difficult to get an accurate assessment of what’s wrong when so many illnesses carry the same symptoms. For this reason, it’s important to seek medical attention if an individual experiences abnormal bleeding, weakness, pale complexion or abdominal expansion without weight gain, nausea, any change in bowel movements or weight loss. Each person is different and, as such, symptoms may vary slightly. Because symptoms may either present themselves as severe or barely noticeable, it is recommended that patients be screened regularly for the presence of cancer causing factors. If left untreated, any type of cancerous cells have the ability to grow and spread throughout the rest of the body. This can lead to the need for further surgery, more intense treatments or, in the worst case, a cancer may become so advanced that it will not respond to treatment. When seeking medical attention, it’s important to understand that there are a series of tests that can detect and diagnose colon cancer. A physician will be able to answer any questions that a patient may have regarding treatment options and the likelihood of their success. This article should not be construed as professional medical advice. If you, or someone that you know, is concerned about the possibility of cancer, you should seek medical attention immediately. A medical doctor can discuss various options, prevention and treatment possibilities should the presence of cancer be detected. A series of tests may be conducted in order to confirm, or rule out, any such diagnosis and can only be done by a medical doctor.

         
    Colon cleansing is preventative health care

     

    Colon cleansing is preventative health care, rather than a treatment for a disease. It is critical because it helps to detoxify your body of all the unnecessary and unwanted toxins that build up in your body. It is also regarded as a safe and alternative method to treat many of our symptoms and problems. Colon cleansing is a procedure of cleansing the body, resulting in the release of toxins, poisons, carcinogens and free radicals. Natural colon cleansers are also available and if you think you don’t have much time and money for clinic sessions, you can do colon cleansing at home. Colon cleansing is the first step on the road to recovery. Detoxification is necessary to rid our body of toxins that accumulate as a result of an unhealthy diet, environmental pollution and chemicals, and a constant use of antibiotics. Cleansing your body with an effective, all natural colon treatment is a good way to approach parasites cleansing, weight gain, IBS, severe gas and bloating, etc. Cleansing, also called detoxification, is our body's normal process of elimination, a function that occurs daily through our colon, liver, kidney, lungs, lymph and skin. Cleansing reactions are part of cleansing and are not the same as "side effects" normally associated with medication. Naturally, the colon in your digestive system is responsible for holding wastes. Natural colon cleansing involves a cleansing diet, which consists of some efficient herbs that are known for killing certain harmful parasites and worms. Body detox is one of the effective way to keep us healthy, help our digestion system and put all the toxins out of the body. Natural colon cleansing involves taking a balanced diet and additionally, a few herbal supplements that help kill the harmful bacteria and in removing excess of toxins. Natural colon cleansing is a great way to help restore health to this vital organ of your digestive system. Natural herbal colon cleansers makes the process of colon detox very smooth and thus helps us to maintain our body in a much more effective way. More often than not, natural colon cleansing means following a colon cleansing diet along with taking some colon cleansing supplements which may include herbs which are known to kill parasites and worms, contain digestive enzymes, contain probiotics (beneficial bacteria), contain herbs that stimulates liver, gallbladder and intestines, also psyllium husk or seeds, Cascara Sagrada, or flax seeds, or slippery elm, and others. Cancer of the colon and rectum (colorectal cancer) is a malignant tumor arising from the inner wall of the large intestine. Cancer affecting the colon and/or rectum is diagnosed in more than 140,000 Americans each year. Cancer of the colon and rectum is the third most common cause of cancer death in women (after lung and breast cancers) and the third most common cause of cancer death in men (after lung and prostate cancers). This is probably one of the reason as to why one can find literally find thousands of magazines and journals which gives a detailed analysis on the dangers of deadly toxins that can inturn lead to the building up of parasites and ultimately leads on to colon cancer. Colon cleansing herbs are of paramount importance to the health of the body as they can eliminate the many toxins in the body system which the body cannot normally expel. Colon cleansing herbs are available in two different forms -- namely, a pre-made formula or just as single herbs. Colon cleansing herbs are simply mixtures of herbs that have been found to help expedite the removal of waste from a person's body in an efficient way.

         
    Eliminating barriers to colon cancer screening

     

    There is good news for those concerned about colon cancer. Physicians know that colon cancer screening saves lives. Yet an estimated 148,000 Americans, both women and men, are diagnosed with colorectal cancer each year, and every year approximately 55,000 will die-the nation's second deadliest cancer. Yet, it's believed most of these deaths could be prevented through proper screening. However, experts from the American College of Gastroenterology (ACG) warn that too few Americans are getting screened. Colorectal screening rates remain very low, even though Medicare and many private plans pay for screening tests. Despite increasing public awareness of colon cancer screening tests through the efforts of Katie Couric and others, many people continue to face obstacles to screening. Even Medicare beneficiaries, for whom incidence and death from the disease are highest, encounter problems with access to screening colonoscopy. Congress Can Help "Pending legislation in the U. S. Congress, such as the Colon Cancer Screen for Life Act (S.1010/ H. R. 1632), promises to remove Medicare's barriers to screening," says ACG President Dr. Jack A. DiPalma of Mobile, Alabama. "But only one small improvement, the waiver of the Medicare deductible, was approved for 2006, so much remains to be done." Research indicates that colon cancer arises from precancerous growths or polyps that grow in the colon. When detected early, these growths or polyps can be removed, actually preventing the development of colon cancer. "With improved use of colon cancer screening, we can save lives," adds Dr. DiPalma. The College currently recommends colonoscopy every 10 years beginning at age 50 for average-risk individuals as the preferred screening strategy to prevent colon cancer. For patients with higher risk factors such as a family history of colon cancer or a previous personal history of polyps, and for African Americans, ACG recommends earlier and/or more frequent screening with colonoscopy.

         
    New at home test aids in cancer screening

     

    There's encouraging news for the millions of Americans at risk for colon cancer. A new, easy-to-use fecal occult blood test (FOBT) is available for at-home screening and is designed specifically to detect colon cancer at its earliest stages. Hemoccult ICT is a new, safe and affordable FOBT screening option for colon cancer-the second leading cause of cancer-related death in the United States. Despite its high incidence, colon cancer is a highly treatable cancer, with a 90 percent survival rate when detected early. Unfortunately, only half of the more than 80 million Americans over age 50 have been screened for colon cancer. The American Cancer Society recommends annual screening with a FOBT for both men and women beginning at age 50. Annual colon cancer screening with FOBT has been proven to decrease mortality by 33 percent when compared with no screening. Because colon cancer can take three to 10 years or longer to develop in the average patient, it is important to begin screening prior to developing symptoms. FOBT vs. Colonoscopy For years colonoscopy has been the most well-known test in colon cancer screening. While widely regarded as the gold standard, colonoscopy does have some drawbacks: • Colonoscopy costs between $300 and $1,000, and while covered by insurance for many, millions of Americans lack health insurance. • Standard colonoscopy can be overwhelming for some people due to the fact that the procedure is usually done under sedation, and because patients are required to follow a special diet and take a very strong laxative before the exam. • Due to a limited number of trained professionals and the equipment needed to perform the tests, the maximum number of colonoscopies that can be performed in the United States each year can accommodate only a quarter of the Americans in need of screening. Unlike other available FOBTs, the new Hemoccult ICT has no drug or dietary restrictions-allowing people to begin testing at their convenience. If a test comes back positive, a follow-up colonoscopy typically is recommended.

         
    One simple test can help you fight the battle against colon cancer

     

    Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States for both women and men. This disease surpasses both breast and prostate cancer in mortality, second only to lung cancer in the number of cancer deaths. Despite the fact that it is highly preventable, it is estimated that 148,610 new cases of colorectal cancer will be diagnosed and 55,170 people will die from the disease in 2006. However, when detected and treated early, colorectal cancer has a five-year survival rate of greater than 90 percent. For that reason, routine screening is vital in the prevention and detection of this deadly disease. CRC Screening According to the American Cancer Society, "beginning at age 50, both men and women at average risk for developing colorectal cancer should follow one of these five testing schedules: • yearly fecal occult blood test (FOBT)* or fecal immunochemical test (FIT) • flexible sigmoidoscopy every five years • yearly FOBT* or FIT plus flexible sigmoidoscopy every five years** • double-contrast barium enema every five years • colonoscopy every 10 years * For FOBT, the take-home multiple sample method should be used. ** The combination of yearly FOBT or FIT plus flexible sigmoid-oscopy every five years is preferred over either of these options alone. All positive tests should be followed up with colonoscopy." New Test One simple, easy-to-use test is Quidel's QuickVue® iFOB test. QuickVue iFOB is a fecal immunochemical test (FIT) where the sample is collected by the patient in the privacy of his/her home and mailed to the physician for testing. The test detects the presence of blood in stool specimens, an indication of a number of gastrointestinal disorders, including colorectal cancer. The QuickVue iFOB test requires only one specimen. Because it is specific to human hemoglobin (blood), there are no dietary restrictions and only certain medication restrictions, distinguishing it from guaiac-based tests that have onerous restrictions. In fact, according to the American Cancer Society, in comparison with guaiac-based tests, commonly known as Fecal Occult Blood Tests (FOBTs), immunochemical tests are more patient-friendly. "We are committed to saving lives through early screening and detection of colon cancer," said John Tamerius, Ph. D., Vice President, Clinical and Regulatory Affairs, Quidel Corporation. "We believe our unique, patient-friendly sample collection device makes this screening process as easy as possible for the patient." Despite these recent advancements in CRC screening, less than 50 percent of people age 50 or older have had a recent test. There appears to be a significant opportunity for CRC prevention since it takes an average of 10 years for cancerous cells to develop. Therefore, if you're over the age of 50 or have a family history of colon cancer, you should speak with your physician about taking an iFOB test. The test is simple, takes a minimal amount of time and may help save your life.

         
    Risks of colon cancer in women and men

     

    : Cancer occurs when something goes wrong with this system, causing uncontrolled cell division and growth. Colon cancer is cancer of the large intestine (colon), the lower part of your digestive system. Most cases of colon cancer begin as small, noncancerous (benign) clumps of cells called adenomatous polyps. Rectal cancer is cancer of the last 6 inches of the colon. Together, they're often referred to as colorectal cancers. Colorectal cancer is the second most common cancer killer overall and third most common cause of cancer-related death in the United States in both males and females. Who is at risk for colorectal cancer. Men tend to get colorectal cancer at an earlier age than women, but women live longer so they catch up with men and thus the total number of cases in men and women is equal. Women diagnosed with uterine or ovarian cancer before age 50 are at increased risk of colorectal cancer. Woman with a personal history of breast cancer have only a very slight increase in risk of colorectal cancer. The average age to develop colorectal cancer is 70 years, and 93% of cases occur in persons 50 years of age or older. You have a higher risk for colon cancer if you have: Cancer elsewhere in the body. Colorectal polypsCrohn's disease Family history of colon cancer Personal history of breast cancer Ulcerative colitis. What are the symptoms of colorectal cancer. Symptoms of colorectal cancer vary depending on the location of the cancer within the colon or rectum, though there may be no symptoms at all. The most common presenting symptom of colorectal cancer is rectal bleeding. Cancers arising from the left side of the colon generally cause bleeding, or in their late stages may cause constipation, abdominal pain, and obstructive symptoms. On the other hand, right-sided colon lesions may produce vague abdominal aching, but are unlikely to present with obstruction or altered bowel habit. Other symptoms such as weakness, weight loss, or anemia resulting from chronic blood loss may accompany cancer of the right side of the colon. If your doctor learns that you do have colorectal cancer, more tests will be done to see if the cancer has spread. Colonoscopy is currently the only test recommended for colorectal cancer screening in average-risk persons at 10 year intervals. Colonoscopic surveillance (also called screening colonoscopy) needs to be available at more frequent intervals for individuals at high risk for colon cancer (for instance, those with a personal history of colorectal cancer or adenomatous polyps; family history of colorectal cancer; non-hereditary polyposis; colorectal cancer; or a pre-disposing condition such as inflammatory bowel disease. The first step to avoiding this ailment is prevention with regular tests at the doctor, but there are other ways of getting around this disease in between checkups. Nevertheless, it appears that increasing the fiber content in the Western diet would be useful in the primary prevention of colorectal cancer. It is recommended that physical activity messages promoting at least 30-45 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity on most days of the week be included in primary prevention interventions for cancer. The population prevalence for meeting proposed physical activity criteria for colon cancer prevention is low and much lower than that related to the more generic public health recommendations. Our bodies need lots of calcium and not only for building strong bones. Colon cancer prevention is one of the most exciting uses for calcium. However, instead of using calcium supplements, this study relied on low-fat dairy products to supply 1,200mg calcium per day. Investigators found this amount of calcium decreased the incidence of changes in the cells lining the colon, which is often seen in the initial stages of colon cancer. A significant protective factor is adequate dietary calcium intake during the period of maximum growth (ages 9 and 25 y), so that proper peak bone mass is achieved by age 20and 30 y and maintained until mid-life, with only slow bone loss in the following years. As already noted, dietary surveys indicate a significant gap between the recommended calcium intake and the actual intake in the United States in the critical years of adolescence and young adulthood and later in life. In addition, several large-scale, recent studies in humans indicate a role for increased dietary calcium in reducing colon cancer risk, as briefly discussed below. Both men and women are equally at risk for colorectal cancer. Men over the age of 50 and women over 55 should have this test on an annual basis to detect colon cancer early. Yet colorectal cancer is the third most common malignancy in women after breast and lung cancer. Incidence is slightly higher in men than women, and is highest in African American men. It is believe that the time has come for a full scientific review of cereal-grain enrichment with calcium and vitamin D as a low-cost, safe, and useful route for the reduction of osteoporosis and colon cancer in the United States in both men and women.

         
    Staging colon cancer

     

    When a doctor wants to evaluate the progress of colon cancer of one of his patients he or she uses a method called Staging. This method is about finding out to what extent the tumor (colon cancer) has spread to the other regions of the patients body. Once the doctors figured out in what stage the colon cancer is, they will develop the best course of action or treatment. At this point in time the system that is most commonly used for the staging process of colon cancer is called the American Joint Committee on Cancer's (AJCC) TNM staging system. Simply put this system used for staging places the patients into one of four stages. Stage 0 Stage 0 also known as carcinoma in situ or colorectal cancer. In this stage the colon cancer has been detected in the innermost lining of the colon. Stage I In this stage the colon cancer has already begun to spread. But the cancer is still in the inner lining of the rectum or colon. In this stage the colon cancer has not reached the outer walls of the colon yet. Stage I is also known as Duke A or colorectal cancer. Stage II In this stage the colon cancer spread more deeply into or through the colon or rectum. Possibly the colon cancer may have affected other tissue as well. In this stage the colon cancer hasn't reached the Lymph nodes (bean-sized structures which can be found in the entire body that helps the body fight all kinds of infections and diseases. Stage II is also known as Duke B or colorectal cancer. Stage III When you are in this stage the colon cancer has now spread to the Lymph nodes although it hasn't spread to nearby parts of the body. Stage III is also known as Duke C or colorectal cancer. Stage IV In this stage the colon cancer has spread through the Lymph node system to other nearby tissue. This is most commonly called metastasis. The organs that most likely are affected are the lungs and liver. Stage IV is also known as Duke D or colorectal cancer. Recurrent Colon Cancer or Cancerous Cells When doctors talk about recurrent colon cancer they mean that cancerous cells that have already been treated have returned. These cancerous cells could possibly have returned as colorectal cancer but they might as well return in any other part of the body too.

         
     
         
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