(NNPA)—Did you know that lifestyle changes that are recommended for your heart are the same ones recommended for good colon health? Eating plenty of healthy vegetables and fruit, reducing high fatty foods and exercising regularly covers a multitude of preventable illnesses.
Colon cancer is the third leading cause of death in men and women in the U.S. – and in developed nations.
In 2010, the American College of Gastroenterologists recommended that African-Americans begin colon cancer screening at age 45, with other groups starting at age 50. For persons ineligible or unwilling to undergo colonoscopy screening, the College recommends a flexible sigmoidoscopy every five to 10 years, or a computed tomography (CT colonography every five years) or a fecal immunochemical test for blood (FIT).
“African-Americans really should be screened by age 45, because, unfortunately, polyps occur at a younger age,” Saint Louis University gastroenterologist Mary Burton, MD. Burton is an assistant professor of Internal Medicine in the division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology at SLU.
Colon polyps are growths on the surface of the colon, which is the large intestine. Benign polyps over time can become cancerous. Early screening, and the detection and removal of polyps reduce the person’s risk of colon cancer.