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Colorectal cancer is the fourth most commonly diagnosed cancer among adults in the United States. More than 140,000 Americans are expected to be diagnosed with CRC in 2018.

Earlier this year, the American Cancer Society issued new screening guidelines, making a qualified recommendation that routine colon cancer screening begins at age 45 years. The ACS estimates that more than 16,000 new cases of colon or rectal cancers will be diagnosed this year in Americans younger than 50. Some people are at higher risk and should be screened earlier, including personal or family history of inflammatory bowel disease, colorectal cancer or polyps, or ovarian, endometrial or breast cancer.

Most people don't realize that colon cancer is a totally preventable cancer. It develops from a benign polyp that over the course of a number of years becomes the carcinoma, which is cancer. So, there is time to detect the polyps and remove them before they become cancer. In essence, you can prevent colon cancer if people get the colonoscopy on time and follow through with continued screening.

ACS recommends those tests that actually examine the interior of the colon because they cannot only detect cancer but also prevent it by finding -- and removing -- polyps or growths that can potentially cause cancer. These tests include:

• A flexible sigmoidoscopy (every five years);

• A colonoscopy (every 10 years);

• Or a CT colonography or virtual colonoscopy (every five years).

Polyps found during these tests can be removed on the spot, simply and painlessly.

Jack D. Alston, M.D., FACS, and Patrick Schiefelbein, D.O., are general surgeons at Surgical Associates of Siloam Springs. Both surgeons perform a variety of surgical services including laparoscopy, biopsy, colonoscopy and more. For more information, visit or call 479-215-3040.

About Siloam Springs Regional Hospital

Siloam Springs Regional Hospital is a 73 licensed bed facility with 42 private patient rooms. It is accredited by the State of Arkansas Department of Health Services and The Joint Commission. Some services include inpatient and outpatient surgery, emergency medicine, medical, surgical and intensive care units, obstetrics, outpatient diagnostic services and inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation. With more than 40 physicians on the medical staff, Siloam Springs Regional Hospital provides compassionate, customer-focused care. SSRH is an affiliate of Northwest Health, one of the largest health networks in Northwest Arkansas, and through that affiliation is a member of the Mayo Clinic Care Network, a select group of independent health systems that work closely with Mayo Clinic to improve the delivery of health care and better serve their patients and their communities. Siloam Springs Regional Hospital is located at 603 N. Progress Ave. in Siloam Springs. For more information, visit

Community on 07/25/2018

Print Headline: Colon Cancer: Earlier screening advised, new guidelines

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