Baptist Health Hardin: Colon Cancer Screening & Prevention
Colon Cancer Screening & Prevention in Elizabethtown, KY HealthTalks Transcript
Kashif Haider, MD, Gastroenterology:
Colon cancer is a common cancer. It kills a lot of people and, many times, it’s preventable. The risk factors for colorectal cancers are number one, living in the developed world; number two, having family history of colorectal cancer; number three, smoking; number four, obesity; and then, in addition to that, eating an excessive amount of red meat. These are the major risks for colorectal cancer.
Colonoscopy is a procedure where we examine the lining of the colon. A soft tube with a lighted camera will be introduced through the rectum into the colon. Through that, the doctor will be able to examine the lining of the colon for any precancerous lesions called polyps. Not only can we diagnose those, but we can also remove them during colonoscopy.
Prep is a very important part of this procedure, which means the patient has to drink a laxative and have their large intestine — their colon — cleaned out. If the colon is not cleaned out, the doctor will not be able to examine the colon and, chances are, could miss something. In the case of colon cancer, it is many times preventable because it starts not as cancer, but as a noncancerous lesion. It can be easily seen and removed before it turns into cancer. This is the basis of screening for colon cancer.
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