In a news story last week, KGW.com reported some Portland hospitals are seeing an increase in the number of patients who receive a colon cancer diagnosis during a visit to the emergency room.
This is a problem because many cases of colon cancer do not present symptoms until later stages, when survival rates are much lower. Staying up to date with colon cancer screening increases your chances of catching colon cancer in its early stages, when it is highly treatable.
One such hospital, Legacy Health, found that 48 percent of stage IV colon cancers, and 30 percent of stage III colon cancers are detected during visits to the emergency room. A staff physician remarked that two-thirds of those patients were either not up to date or had never been screened for colon cancer.
Many patients experience no symptoms of colon cancer, and some that do may ignore or write off the tell-tale symptoms such as blood in the stool, stomach aches and pains, and unexplained weight loss.
According to the American Cancer Society, more than 50,000 people will die from colon cancer this year. This number can be much smaller, and many more lives can be saved with regular screening and early detection of colon cancer.
The bottom line: don't wait for a trip to the emergency room. Talk to your doctor about your screening options at your next Primary Care visit!
Other News From Around The Web
- New research published in Gastroenterology puts the 10-year follow-up colonoscopy guideline to the test.
- A new, full-spectrum endoscope proved to be superior to conventional devices in detecting cancerous polyps in the colon.
- A new study suggests that Aspirin may be a "wonder drug" in the prevention of heart disease and various types of cancer.
- One researcher believes that an individualized approach to colorectal screening, determined by age, sex, race and ethnicity, will be more effective in the early detection of colon cancer.
Image Source: Taber Andrew Bain via Flickr