Australian researchers have come upon some interesting findings while assessing colon cancer risk. After examining the eating patterns of just under 1000 patients suffering with colorectal cancer, along with another 1,021 control subjects without the disease, they found that eating certain fruits and veggies was associated with a lower risk of cancer for both the upper and lower colon.While fruits and veggies have been researched extensively in terms of colon cancer risk, no work has been done in terms of food intake and the site of the cancer within the colon. If these findings are repeated in larger studies, this might spur recommendations for a higher consumption of veggies as a way to reduce the cancer risk in the lower part of the colon.Eating the brassica veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale and turnips appears to bring down the risk for cancer forming in the upper area of the colon.Both fruit and veggie intake (even total veggie intake on its own) cut the risk of cancers of the lower colon.Eating more apples, as well as dark, yellow veggies was also associated with a significantly smaller chance of colon cancer developing in the lower regions.Unexpectedly, higher consumption of fruit juice was tied to a higher risk of rectal cancer.So where does this leave you if you’re at risk, or know someone who is?Work to avoid as many of the risk factors for this form (and all forms) of cancer as you can. Make the changes to your diet (low fat, high fiber) that bring your body more of the good, natural, healthy foods and limit (or eliminate) the calorie and saturated fat laden treats.Get up and get active – 30 minutes of moderately intense exercise each day is a good goal to work for. And make other changes in your lifestyle – such as quitting smoking or limiting your alcohol Intake – those will also help cut your chances of getting colon cancer.Experts know there is no one cause of colon cancer. Nearly all of these cancers start out as benign (non cancerous) polyps. From the time those first unusual cells grow into polyps, experts believe it takes an average of 10 – 15 years for cancer to form. Regular screening finds, and gets rid of, these polyps while they are non-cancerous.This is why it is vital to get the screenings (usually starting at age 50) that are recommended for you. Colonoscopy is the standard test used to view the whole colon, and therefore the best screening process for cancer in this body system.By being screened as your doctor recommends, before you have any symptoms, you’ll have the best chance of any cancer being found while it is still small, and most treatable.The American Cancer Society estimates that this type of cancer a leading cause of cancer related deaths in the U.S. In 2011, it will claim an estimated 49,380 lives. The good news is that the death rate has dropped in the last 15 years, surely the result of increased colon cancer risk awareness and more of us being screened for this disease.
Screening for cancer is often recommended if you have a family history of the disease. It will help in finding the cancer early and also reduce the chances of succumbing to the disease. Doctors even use certain types of screen tests to find cancer in some patients. However, these are primarily restricted to clinical trials that allow doctors to figure out which people have the least risk of getting cancer. But, the biggest benefit of a cancer screening test is to detect the cancer before it begins showing symptoms. When patients receive early treatment for the disease, it improves the chances of recovery and decreases the possibility of dying from the cancer. That is why having a screening test for skin cancer is extremely important. In fact, skin cancer is quite widespread in the United States, with 1 million people diagnosed with it each year.Screening for skin cancer involves several steps and is not just restricted to a laboratory test. Physically checking the skin can help identify skin cancer early. Doctors recommend that patients check their skin every month for any abnormal changes, which should be brought to their attention immediately. In addition, those people who have had skin cancer previously should have regular skin checks performed by their doctors.If the doctor finds something abnormal about a particular patch of skin, a biopsy will be performed. A part of the abnormal skin is sent to the laboratory for checking, where the pathologist checks it under the microscope to see whether the skin cells have turned malignant.Typically, it is possible to detect cancer without having a biopsy done, as skin melanomas tend to grow under the epidermis and never penetrate the dermis. It is possible to cure skin cancer if it has not metastasized to any other part of the body.However, there are some risks involved when it comes to screening tests for skin cancer. Some of the tests may not be able to detect the cancer. Just because a screening test detects cancer, it does not guarantee that your health will improve or you will live longer. This is especially true if the cancer has reached an advanced stage. Some of the skin cancers do not show any symptoms and may never become life-threatening. However, when these cancers are found through screening tests, they are treated. The treatment for cancer has several undesirable side effects and may not offset the benefits of the treatment. Also, it is possible that the screen test gives a false negative result. At times, the test may show that cancer is not present when it is and this may cause delay in getting the right treatment for the malignancy. Another possibility is that screen test may show a false positive result when there is no cancer present. This causes the person to go through an unwanted biopsy and then suffer from anxiety until it is conclusively diagnosed that the person is not suffering from the cancer.