Cancer in the colon or rectum (colorectal cancer) is the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths. Since it used to occur mostly in seniors, it was recommended to start colonoscopyscreenings at age 50. Today, however, doctors are starting to see younger people fall victim. So how can you protect yourself again colorectal cancers?
Sadly and shockingly, colonoscopies are not the complete detection imaging method that we might have thought (this does not mean you should not get them). Unfortunately, many people and doctors don’t realize this.
What Do Colonoscopies Do?
Colonoscopies detect growths called polyps. Polyps can be pedunculated, meaning they “hang” down on a stem. This type of polyp is pretty easy to detect.
However, there are also sessile polyps, which are flat (like sheets of saran wrap). They do not have a stalk and are usually unable to be visualized by a colonoscopy. They can even be missed by MRI’s or Cat Scans. To put it simply, they aren’t easy to find and are often overlooked.
So our risk of colorectal cancer is much complex than has been appreciated. Thus, prevention should be at the top of our list, not only detection.