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Colorectal screenings could save lives, study finds

Category: Cancer Detection and Tumor Markers

A new study published in the journal JAMA Surgery has demonstrated that routine colonoscopies can have a significant impact on the health of individuals, and may help extend one's life.

"Compliance to screening colonoscopy guidelines can play an important role in prolonging longevity, improving quality of life, and reducing healthcare costs through early detection of colon cancer," wrote the study's researchers, from Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, respectively.

Close to 1,100 patients who were treated for colon cancer were examined in the report, with their medical outcomes factored into the overall results. In 217 cases, colorectal screenings helped individuals gain a diagnosis of the condition.

Those who did not undergo screenings were almost double as likely to have an invasive tumor than those did have them done, HealthDay News reported.

There are a few tests that can be taken to determine whether an individual is affected by colorectal cancer, including a fecal occult blood test, sigmoidoscopy, colonoscopy and a barium enema. In addition, the National Cancer Institute notes that individuals can take a DNA stool test and virtual colonoscopy.

As of 2009 - the most recent year statistics were taken - the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealed that 136,717 people in the U.S. were diagnosed and affected by colorectal cancer, of whom 70,223 were men and 66,494 were women.

This is an important finding that suggests that individuals who monitor potential health conditions may be poised to enjoy better overall wellness if they take preventative steps early on.

The first move that people can make to gain control of their health is to have a lab test done today. With a lab test online, individuals can enhance their understanding of their bodies and gain a better idea of how their health is shaping up.

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