Colorectal Cancer Screening: Who Is It for?

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Colorectal cancer is a disease that can affect both men and women. Like most cancers, this condition develops when cells in the colon tract grow abnormally and form tumors. Cancer care specialists are still researching the causes of colorectal cancer, and have found links between the disease and certain demographics. If you fall into one or more of the following groups, be sure to consult a cancer care facility for further help.

Older Individuals
Studies have shown that the highest occurrence of colorectal cancer is among those who are 50 years old and above. No matter a person’s current state of health, all individuals who are 50 or older should undergo a fecal occult blood test a minimum of every five years. Cancer care specialists also recommend that older patients receive a double-contrast barium enema twice each decade past 50 and a colonoscopy every 10 years.

Gastrointestinal Inflammation Sufferers
Doctors have also determined a relationship between gastrointestinal inflammation and colorectal cancer. Though you may never suffer the onset of colorectal cancer, you are at a higher risk for the disease if you have either Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis. For this reason, cancer care experts advise individuals with either condition to see a colorectal cancer specialist for the appropriate screenings as soon as possible.

Genetically Predisposed Persons
Many cancers run in families, and colorectal cancer is no exception. If you have an immediate family member who suffers from this disease, your chances of contracting it are higher than normal. Be sure to discuss family history with your loved ones to determine if you are at risk for colorectal cancer—if so, see a cancer care professional for consultation and screening.

The earlier you catch colorectal cancer, the better chance you have of surviving it. The colorectal cancer care facilities at West Hills Hospital & Medical Center offer comprehensive screening services for patients. If you live in the greater West Hills area and would like to set up a screening appointment , call (818) 676-4000.

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