CaSfA - Cancer Support for All
News from CaSfA's Director

UMASS 2015 Colorectal Cancer Symposium

I recently attended the 2015 Colorectal Cancer Symposium at UMassMemorial Medical Center.  Take away message is colonoscopy is so important.  Everyone should have a screening colonoscopy at age 50, or earlier if you have risk factors for colorectal cancer.

Colonoscopy is one of the only cancer screening tests that also allows for treatment.  Precancerous lesions and small tumors can be removed easily with colonoscopy.

Goal is to find the cancer early!  The 5-year survival in US for colon cancer:

  • 90% for localized cancer 
  • 70% for those with regional spread 
  • 13% for those with distant spread   

Surgery is the ONLY curative treatment for colon cancer, but it must be done early before the cancer has spread!

Don’t ignore symptoms.  Colorectal cancer is often without symptoms, but may give:

  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Fatigue/weakness
  • Blood in the stool
  • Change in bowel habits

Screening is so important!  Don’t put off colonoscopy!

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