Preventing Colorectal
Cancer by Colonscopy
Recently, there is a report that the demand for colonoscopy at New York City Hospitals has been
increased sharply in 2004. Officials attributed the increase to wide-scale public education. The
increased number of tests might prevent hundreds of additional cases of cancer and colon cancer
deaths in the years to come. Colon cancer screenings can actually prevent cancer by finding
pre-cancerous lesions that can be removed before the cancer develops [3]. People in higher risk
groups for colon cancer are less likely to get a colon cancer screening. These include: men, older
adults, smokers and people who do not exercise regularly. African-American men have the highest
overall death rate from colon cancer in the New York City [1].

Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer in the United States, with about 150,000 new cases
yearly [1]. And, every year, more than 945000 people develop colorectal cancer worldwide, and around
492000 patients die [5]. Colorectal cancers usually develop slowly and over several years. They usually
start as benign polyps, then, convert into cancerous polyps, e.g. adenomas and dysplasia. Once cancer
forms within a polyp, it may eventually spread into blood vessels and the cancer cells may travel to
distant parts of the body-metastasis.

In most cases, especially at the initial stage, colorectal cancers fail to produce any symptoms. When
they do, the symptoms are painless rectal bleeding or a change in bowel habits such as constipation,
increased frequency or diarrhea. Screening using colonoscopy is the best way to diagnose and treat
either polyps or cancers. When caught early enough, more than 80 percent of people can be cured of
this disease. Some researchers even suggested to use stool tests together with colonoscopy for early
detection or prevention of colorectal cancers. [4]

In general, cleansing of one's colon is needed the day before the procedure. On the day of the
procedure, the patient receives an intra-venous sedative for relaxation. During the test, the patient is
asked to turn on their side for gentle insertion of the colonoscope and air is insufflated to allow
visualization of the colon. It is recommended by most medical, surgical and cancer organizations to start
screening people of average risk by age 50.

ARTICLES
REVIEW-COLORECTAL CANCER PREVENTION
FIGHT AGAINST THE CANCER

References

[1] Colonoscopies at New York City Hospitals Double in 2004, i-Newswire, 2005-03-22
[2] Detailed Guide: Colon and Rectum Cancer What Is Colorectal Cancer? American Cancer Society, Inc, on-line publications.
[3] Pabby A et al, Analysis of colorectal cancer occurrence during surveillance colonoscopy in the dietary Polyp Prevention Trial,
Gastrointest Endosc. 2005 Mar;61(3):385-91. [4] Haug U et al, A Simulation Model for Colorectal Cancer Screening: Potential of Stool
Tests with Various Performance Characteristics Compared with Screening Colonoscopy, Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2005
Feb;14(2):422-428 [5] Weitz J et al, Colorectal cancer, Lancet. 2005 Jan 8;365 (9454):153-65
THIS WEBSITE TALKS ABOUT THE SIDE EFFECTS AND THE POTENTIAL HEALTH BENEFITS OF HERBS, SUPPLEMENTS,
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Privacy Policy. ARTICLE INDEX/ Science
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Herbal / Dietary Supplements / Foods that may lower the risk of certain types of cancer
: Avocados Banana, Bitter
Melon, Brown Seaweed, Capsicum, Cauliflower, Celery, Chlorophyll, Cordyceps, Curcumin, Dandelion, Ellagic acid,
Oldenlandia, Falcarinol, Fenugreek, Feverfew, Fish Oil, Forskolin, Galangal, Garlic, Gotu Kola, Green Tea, Grape Seed
Extract, Honokiol, Orange, Isothiocyanates, Linseed Oil, Limes, Lycopene, Maitake, Milk Thistle, Onion, Peony, Phellinus,
Quercetin, Pterostibene, Pycnogenol, Reishi, Rhubarb, Saffron, Stinging Nettle, Sweet Potatoes, and more. (Please read
the warning section)

Drugs listed in this website for chemotherapy:
Xeloda, Avastin, Herceptin,  Tykerb,
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WARNING
Some studies do show the anti-cancer activities of certain herbs and supplements, but most of the studies were done in
test-tube or animals. It is unclear if they are effective in human body. Further, the composition of the products in market are
not necessary the same as those in the studies.

Cancer cells can spread very quickly, while most of the herbs/supplements take long time to see the effects (even though
they are active in our body). Some targeted drug products, including monoclonal antibodies, are cancer cell specific, they
are potent and have less side effects (compared to conventional anti-cancer drugs).
Patients must discuss with their
doctors for the right treatment.