Brightmore University presented its last session for the month of May with P.A. Brandon Ballard, with NHRMC Physician Group – Hanover Gastroenterology, speaking on “Colorectal Cancer: Preventable, Beatable, Treatable” and how important is to keep up with your colonoscopy screenings even as you age. Colon cancer is the 3rd most common cancer for both men and women. It can be detected in two areas of the body; your colon and rectum through diagnosing abnormal DNA cells in the colon lining. It is very important to start your colon screenings after the age of 50, which is the high-risk age group. You may start earlier if there has been colon cancer in the family. There are not many warning signs for colon cancer, and that is why the screenings are so very important.
Two major risk factors are genetics and diet. Other factors that your physician will look for is lack in physical activity, type 2 diabetes, smoking, alcohol, inflammatory bowel disease, if you have had radiation therapy to your abdomen, and colon polyps. If you start at the early age of 50, and your physician detects an abnormality during your screening, this is a very treatable malignancy. As you age, your genetic and medical history is important information to report to family members so that they too can start looking for any risk factors in their screenings.