Early screening can prevent colorectal cancer, UC Irvine Health experts say

April 21, 2014

IN THE NEWS: How do you know whether you or a loved one is receiving the best colon cancer care available? UC Irvine Health physicians offer guidance in a program airing nationwide on public television stations called “Advances in Treating Colon Cancer with Surgery."

This episode of the "Healthy Body, Healthy Mind" series features UC Irvine Health interventional gastroenterologist Dr. Kenneth Chang and colorectal surgeons Dr. Michael J. Stamos and Dr. Alessio Pigazzi, who describe the latest advances in the diagnosis and treatment of colorectal cancers.

Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of U.S. cancer deaths. More than 102,000 colon and 40,000 rectal cancer cases are diagnosed annually and more than 50,000 people die each year. At least 50 percent of colorectal cancer deaths could be prevented if all men and women aged 50 years or older were routinely screened, says Dr. Chang, director of the H.H. Chao Comprehensive Digestive Disease Center at UC Irvine Medical Center.

In most cases, colorectal cancer develops from abnormal growths called polyps in the colon or rectum. Stamos says that these precancerous growths can be easily detected in a screening colonoscopy and removed, before becoming malignant.

Learn more about colorectal cancer screening ›

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