Colorectal Cancer Prevention Los Angeles
Cancer that begins in the colon or rectum is usually referred to as colorectal cancer, although it can be identified as either colon cancer or rectal cancer for purposes of greater specificity. The colon and rectum are at the end of your digestive tract, where stool is stored before being expelled from the body. The development of colorectal cancer is typically a slow progress, usually beginning as a benign polyp on the inner lining of the colon or rectum. For this reason, all polyps found in your digestive tract by Dr. Tabib are removed and examined.
Diagnosis of Colorectal Cancer and Screening
Beginning at age 40, it is recommended that all people begin receiving regular screenings for colorectal cancer. This is because the risk of developing the condition increases greatly after that age. Screenings are performed using either sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy, two similar techniques that utilize a long, flexible tube equipped with a camera to inspect the inside of the colon. Using one of these devices, Dr. Tabib can visualize the lining of the colon and remove any polyps he finds. Once removed, these growths are sent to the lab to check for cancerous cells.
There are two main categories of polyps:
Colorectal cancer can sometimes be associated with known risk factors for the disease. Many risk factors are modifiable though not all can be avoided.
- Adenomatous Polyps: These are the polyps that develop into cancer. They are considered a precancerous condition.
- Hyperplastic and Inflammatory Polyps:These are generally not precancerous, although there is some evidence that hyperplastic polyps can become precancerous.
Dysplasia, abnormal tissue in the lining of the colon, may also develop into cancer over time. People with ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease may develop dysplasia.
Colorectal Cancer Prevention
In addition to screenings to remove polyps before they become cancerous, there are several steps you can take to reduce your chances of developing colorectal cancer. There are several lifestyle changes you can make to reduce your risk, including:
- Eat more fiber, fruits, and vegetables
- Avoid a diet high in fat and meat
- Reduce alcohol consumption
- Quit smoking
- Increase intake of vitamin D
There is also research that suggests the use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can also reduce the risk of colorectal cancer.
To schedule a screening or a consultation with Dr. Tabib, contact us today.