If you just turned 45, other than being midway through your forties, it’s time to consider getting a colon cancer screening. Lucky you!
Actually – you are lucky — very.
Early detection of colon cancer could save your life!
According to a blog from the National Cancer Institute, the death of Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman from colon cancer coupled with the rise in colon cancer among younger adults played a role in lowering the age to start screening for colorectal cancer.
Colon Cancer Screening
The U.S. Preventative Services Task Force now recommends colorectal cancer screenings in adults between 45 and 75. After the age of 75 selective screening is recommended.
Keep in mind, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, you might have to start screening before the age of 45 if:
- You’ve had colorectal cancer before.
- A close relative had colon cancer.
- You have an inflammatory bowel disease like Crohn’s or ulcerative colitis.
- You have genetic conditions that increase your risk such as familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) or hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer (Lynch syndrome).
While after the age of 75 selective screening is advised, a new study published in May’s edition of JAMA Oncology suggests screening for colorectal cancer beyond 75 is beneficial. The risk of dying decreased by about one-third in those older than 75 who had screenings with a colonoscopy or a sigmoidoscopy.
That’s why at any age, you must be your own best advocate and talk to your doctor about screening for colon cancer if you think you need it.
The CDC says most insurance plans will assist in paying for screenings for those over 50. However, check with your doctor and your policy since they all have different rules.
Colon Cancer Treatment Options
If screening leads to a diagnosis of colon cancer you have treatment options including surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. Sometimes a combination of treatments is needed.
The American Cancer Society says radiation tends to be used more for rectal cancer than colon cancer. But it can be extremely effective with certain types of colon cancer. Here’s why:
- Radiation along with chemotherapy can help shrink a tumor before surgery.
- It can kill any lingering cancer cells after surgery or during surgery.
- Radiation may be used along with chemotherapy in patients who aren’t surgical candidates.
- It can relieve symptoms of advanced cancer, like blockages.
- It can treat metastatic cancer.
CyberKnife for Colon or Rectal Cancer
One form of radiation that can be used for colorectal cancers is called CyberKnife. It is not typically used in early stages of the disease where surgery and chemotherapy are recommended. However, if you have persistent disease or metastatic lesions CyberKnife provides excellent results.
CyberKnife treatment uses image-guided robotic technology to deliver targeted radiation directly to the cancer or tumor without harming healthy tissue.
There is no downtime and minimal side effects from CyberKnife. Plus, because the system uses a higher concentration of radiation, treatment course durations are often less than with traditional radiation.
Cancer Treatment Center Miami
Cyberknife Miami opened 20 years ago and was the first Cyberknife center to open in the Southeast. Since that time, we have successfully treated thousands of patients.
We treat patients from around the country and right here in South Florida.
Our staff knows that treating our patients with compassion and state-of-the-art technology go hand in hand. That’s our big advantage.
Plus, our doctors and staff are experts in the field, often training others on how to use CyberKnife technology.
If you are interested in learning more about CyberKnife for colorectal cancer, call us now at 305-279-2900 or go to our website www.cyberknifemiami.com.