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PRCIL offers facts about colorectal cancer

PALESTINE, June 18, 2014— Colorectal cancer may affect anyone, but the risk increases with age. Those with highest risk include those who are 50 years of age and over; Have a personal or family history of benign colorectal polyps; Have a personal or family history of inflammatory bowel disease, And/or have a personal or family history of ovarian, endometrial, or breast cancer.

Screening tests for colorectal testing includes the following:

Fecal Occult Blood Test (FOBT) - This is a test that checks for occult (hidden) blood in the stool.  The doctor sends a kit home with the patient who collects three daily samples and returns them to the doctor for testing.  It is inexpensive and widely available.

Flexible sigmoidoscopy - This is an examination in which a doctor looks at the inside of the rectum and lower portion of the colon through a flexible, lighted tube.  The doctor may remove some polyps and collect tissue or cell samples for closer examination.

Colonoscopy - This is an examination in which a doctor looks at the inside of the rectum and entire colon through a flexible, lighted tube.  The doctor may remove some polyps and collect a sample of tissue or cells for closer examination.

Double contrast Barium Enema - In this test, a doctor fills the colon with a barium solution, most of which is then removed.  The colon is partially filled with air, creating an X-ray that is easy for the doctor to read.

Current American Cancer Society (ACS) guidelines recommend the following for people age 50 and over who are not high risk:

  • A fecal occult blood test (FOBT) every year and
  • Flexible sigmoidoscopy every five years or
  • Colonoscopy every 10 years or
  • Double contrast barium enema every 5 to 10 years

For more information, contact Palestine Resource Center for Independent Living at 903-729-7505.

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