Most colon cancers are preventable, so get your colonoscopy now

Most colon cancers are preventable, so get your colonoscopy now

In addition to the inflatable colon, a da Vinci Surgical System robot will also be available for the public to "test drive".

If caught early, it is a preventable and curable disease and yet colon cancer remains the second leading cause of cancer deaths in men and women in the U.S.

Someone born in 1990 had double the risk of colon cancer and four times the risk of rectal cancer than someone born in 1950. Despite the widespread availability of highly effective screening tests, colorectal cancer screening still lags far behind screening for cancers such as breast (mammography), cervical (Pap smear) and prostate (PSA test).

According to Dr. Christian, almost all cases of colon cancer arise from a poylp in the colon which becomes cancerous, and 25 percent of patients who have a colonoscopy have a polyp removed.

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Even though a colonoscopy can lower your risk of dying from colorectal cancer, many people are afraid of the big scope. They recommend starting screening around 45 years old, or earlier, if you have a family history of this cancer. You can learn about cancer prevention, talk to a registered dietician, tour the giant colon, and pick up a free home screening kit. If polyps are detected, it is recommended that the individual have another surveillance colonoscopy in three to five years. The American Cancer Society has found a sharp increase of adults in their 20s and 30s being diagnosed with colorectal cancer. Registration is not required.

For more information, you can visit the Augusta Health's website.

Funding for the grant stems from the annual Get Your Rear in Gear Charlotte 5K race, which will be held on March 30 at Independence Park in Elizabeth.

Tanya Reese is the Program Coordinator of the Cancer Services Program.

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