Colonoscopy for Good Health - Houston Colon – Division of Colon and Rectal Surgery

Colonoscopy for Good Health

March 28, 2011

Houston colorectal surgeons would like everyone over 50 yrs. of age to consider the following:

  • Colorectal cancer is the 2nd leading cause of cancer death in the U.S.
  • Approximately 150,000 will be diagnosed and 50,000 will die this year
  • In the U.S. alone, colorectal cancer is diagnosed every 4 minutes
  • Colorectal cancer is curable if diagnosed in the early stages
  • 93% of all cases occur in men and women over 50 yrs. of age
  • 50% of current deaths would be avoided if everyone over 50 was screened
  • Early detection affords a 90% cure rate and return to normal health
  • Colon cancer is preventable and curable with regular screenings

Colon cancer prevention begins with regular colorectal screenings through an outpatient diagnostic procedure known as a colonoscopy.  The procedure is so named for the flexible tubular instrument, a colonscope that is painlessly inserted into the rectum and up into the colon. A miniature camera that sends images to a video screen is attached to the end of the tube. This allows the colorectal surgeons in Houston to search the rectum and colon for any abnormalities or polyps.

Polyps are small growths in the colon that are initially benign, but can evolve into cancerous tumors if left to grow.  Polyps can easily be removed during a colonoscopy and biopsied. Removing polyps while they are still benign is on the front line of colon health and cancer prevention.  In general, colon cancer is very slow growing, so even if a polyp is diagnosed as being an early stage cancer, the prognosis for survival and a cure is excellent.  Later stages of colon cancer usually require abdominal surgery, plus chemotherapy, radiation or a combination thereof. This can be avoided by being screened on a regular basis.

Beyond a regular colonoscopy in Houston, colorectal specialists recommend the following for good colon health:

  • Maintain a normal body weight through a healthy diet and exercise
  • Consume high fiber foods along with fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Avoid fatty foods
  • Reduce the intake of processed foods
  • Consume alcohol in moderation
  • Do not smoke

Overall good health is a product of a healthy lifestyle, regular check-ups and diagnostic screenings as
recommended.

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Houston residents can anticipate optimal outcomes as a result of consulting colorectal surgeons who offer a wide range of state-of-the-art diagnostic, therapeutic and surgical modalities.  The Houston Colorectal Surgical Associates is a team of specialists on the leading edge of the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the colon and rectum.  Additional information is available at HoustonColon.Com.