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(Cancer of the Colon)
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- Hereditary conditions such as familial adenomatous polyposis
- Personal history of colon or rectal cancer, or polyps
- Family history of colon or rectal cancer, especially a parent, sibling, or child
- History of ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease
- Diets high in meat, and low in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains
- Heavy alcohol intake
- Physical inactivity
- A change in bowel habits
- Blood in the stool that is either bright red or black and tarry
- Stools that are narrower than usual
- Diarrhea, constipation, or feeling that the bowel does not empty completely
- General abdominal discomfort, such as frequent gas pains, bloating, fullness, and/or cramps
- Unexplained weight loss
- Constant feeling of fatigue or tiredness
- Polypectomy and local excision—Early stage removal of the cancer.
- Partial colectomy—Removal of the cancer with a margin of surrounding healthy tissue and lymph nodes. The healthy ends of the colon are reconnected.
- Laparoscopic-assisted colectomy—Removal of the cancer with a margin of surrounding healthy tissue and lymph nodes through small incisions in the abdomen.
- Total colectomy—Removal of the entire colon. The last part of the small intestine, called the ileum, is then connected to the rectum.
- Blood stem cell support medications
- Anti-nausea medications
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications
- Colonoscopy every 10 years
- Flexible sigmoidoscopy every 5 years
- CT colonography every 5 years
- Double-contrast barium enema every 5 years
- MR colonography every 5 years
- Stool DNA test every 3 years
- Annual fecal occult blood test (FOBT)
- Annual fecal immunochemical test (FIT)
- African American or Native Americans
- Strong family history of colon or rectal cancer, or polyps
- Family history of hereditary colon or rectal cancer syndromes
- History of colon or rectal cancer, or adenomatous polyps
- History of chronic inflammatory bowel disease
- Not smoking
- Eating a healthy diet high in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and low in red meat
- Being physically active by exercising at least 30 minutes a day on most days of the week
- Reducing your alcohol intake
- Maintaining a healthy weight
American Cancer Society http://www.cancer.org
National Cancer Institute http://www.cancer.gov
Canadian Cancer Society http://www.cancer.ca
Colorectal Cancer Association of Canada http://www.colorectal-cancer.ca
Colorectal cancer. American Cancer Society website. Available at: http://www.cancer.org/acs/groups/cid/documents/webcontent/003096-pdf.pdf. Updated January 31, 2014. Accessed September 12, 2014.
Colorectal cancer. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated May 28, 2014. Accessed September 12, 2014.
Colorectal cancer screening. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated September 4, 2014. Accessed September 12, 2014.
General information about colon cancer. National Cancer Institute website. Available at: http://cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/treatment/colon/Patient. Updated July 7, 2014. Accessed September 12, 2014.
Kushi LH, Doyle C, McCullough M, et al. American Cancer Society Guidelines on nutrition and physical activity for cancer prevention: reducing the risk of cancer with healthy food choices and physical activity. CA: Cancer J Clin. 2012;62(1):30-67.
Rex DK, Johnson DA, Anderson JC, et al. American College of Gastroenterology guidelines for colorectal cancer screening 2009. Am J Gastroenterol. 2009;104(3):739-750.
11/19/2010 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance. http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: Kirkegaard H, Johnsen NF, Christensen J, Frederiksen K, Overvad K, Tjønneland A. Association of adherence to lifestyle recommendations and risk of colorectal cancer: a prospective Danish cohort study. BMJ. 2010;341:c5504.
12/9/2011 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance. http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: Aune D, Chan DS, Lau R, et al. Dietary fibre, whole grains, and risk of colorectal cancer: systematic review and dose-response meta-analysis of prospective studies. BMJ. 2011;343:d6617.
4/8/2014 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance. http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: Yee J, Kim DH, et al. Colorectal cancer screening. American College of Radiology (ACR) Appropriateness Criteria. Available at: http://www.acr.org/~/media/ACR/Documents/AppCriteria/Diagnostic/ColorectalCancerScreening.pdf. Updated 2013.
- Reviewer: Mohei Abouzied, MD
- Review Date: 08/2014
- Update Date: 09/12/2014