Colorectal cancer is the 3rd most common cancer in both men and women in the United States. However, due to early screening and detection methods, the incidence and mortality due to colorectal cancer has declined dramatically over the past two decades. Thus, the removal of premalignant adenomas and polyps can prevent colorectal cancer related death.
Most colorectal cancers develop from adenomas and polyps, growing from small to large, which eventually become dysplastic and cancerous. The progression of a colonic polyp or adenoma to a carcinoma is a slow process usually averaging 10 years.
In accordance with the American academy of family physicians (AAFP) and the United States preventative task force services (USPSTF), it is strongly recommended that persons at average risk of colorectal cancer should be screened beginning at age 50 up until the age of 75 years of age.
Special considerations include colorectal cancer screening beginning at age 45 years of age for African American patients due to an increased incidence of colorectal cancer in this population. Patients with normal findings on colonoscopy should have repeat colonoscopy in 10 years. Patients with a 1st degree relative with history of colorectal cancer or an advanced adenoma should undergo colorectal cancer screening at age 40 or 10 years younger than the relatives age when diagnosed. Routine screening colonoscopy should be preformed every 5 years for this patient population.
Patients with abnormal findings including low risk polyps and small adenomas should return for colonoscopy under the clinical guidance of a gastroenterologist usually ranging between 5-10 years. Those with high-risk polyps are recommended to return for routine screening at 3 years.
Screening colonoscopy is unique among all other diagnostic tests due to its therapeutic and preventative benefits. It offers the advantage to visualize, find and remove any pre-malignant lesions within the entire span of the colon and ultimately prevents the progression of colorectal cancer later in life.
Take control of your own health today by making the decision to prevent colon cancer. Make an appointment with Dr. Ross or Dr. Castro and they will provide the initial colorectal cancer screening and referral to a gastroenterologist to schedule your screening colonoscopy.
Schedule your appointment today by calling 305-279-7677 or via our website www.rossmedicalgroup.com.