Health Watch — Cancer: Colon Cancer

Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications  and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.

This week on Health Watch, we’ve been talking about preventing, detecting and treating cancer. Early detection is often the key to effective cancer treatment. In the case of colon cancer, if the cancer is detected and treated early enough, more than 90 percent of patients survive for at least five years.

Dr. Samir Gupta, a colon specialist at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says because of this, it’s important for even people without symptoms to be screened for colon cancer. Annual screenings should start at age 50. Screenings can include testing stool samples for traces of blood, or a colonoscopy to look for polyps that could become cancerous. People with risk factors, such as blood in the stool, a family history of the disease or polyps, should talk to their doctor about appropriate steps to take.

Visit to learn more about UT Southwestern’s clinical service in digestive disorders. 


March 2008

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