March is Colon Cancer Awareness Month

Mar 01, 2022 at 03:30 pm by steve


By Chris Shaver, MD & Ken Sigman, MD

Colon cancer is the third leading cause of cancer globally with approximately 1.8 million new cases per year. In the United States, the disease trails only lung cancer with 125,000 new cases per year and in Alabama, 2,470 new colon and rectal cancer cases were documented in 2021.

The single best method of prevention and early detection is colonoscopy. While other screening methods are available, they are not as sensitive in finding pre-cancerous polyps and are not recommended for many patients. In 2021, the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force and the American Cancer Society updated guidelines to include screening patients starting at age 45.

As we head in to Colon Cancer Awareness month, remember these five facts to help monitor this preventable disease.

  • Colorectal cancer is no longer a disease of older people. Incidence rates have doubled in adult patients younger than age 50.
  • A family history of colorectal cancer and pre-cancerous polyps significantly increases risk.
  • Colorectal cancer incidence rates are 24 percent higher in African American men and 19 percent higher in African American women.
  • Colonoscopy significantly lowers the risk of devloping or dying of colorectal cancer.
  • Colonoscopy is recommended for average risk individuals beginning at age 45.

Ken Sigman, MD practices with Gastro Health at Grandview. Chris Shaver, MD practices with Birmingham Gastroenterology.

Sections: Blog



March 2024

Mar 20, 2024 at 11:19 am by kbarrettalley

Your March 2024 Issue of Birmingham Medical News is Here!