Colon cancer is the second deadliest cancer for New Yorkers, killing approximately 1,400 residents each year.
Often times there are no signs or symptoms of potentially pre-cancerous colon polyps. But the disease is preventable and curable if detected early enough, which is why getting screened before you have signs or symptoms is so important.
Colon cancer affects men and women of all racial and ethnic groups. Knowing the risk factors for colon cancer can help you make decisions about when to see a doctor or how to lower your risks.
Medical Risk Factors
- Being 50 years old or older
- Having a personal or family history of colon polyps or cancer
- Having a personal or family history of a genetic colon cancer syndrome, such as FAP or HNPCC
- Having a personal history of inflammatory bowel disease
People who have certain risk factors—such as a personal or family history of colon polyps or cancer; a personal or family history of a hereditary cancer syndrome; or a personal history of inflammatory bowel disease--are at higher risk and should talk to their doctor about getting a colonoscopy.
What is a colonoscopy?
Although there are other screening test, a colonoscopy can examine the entire colon effectively and prevent cancer by removing precancerous polyps—abnormal growths in the colon or rectum —before they become cancer.
During the colonoscopy exam, a doctor will look inside of the colon using a bendable, lighted tube that has a camera on the end. If growths are found, they can be removed right away. The exam lasts about 30 minutes. It is usually repeated every ten years if the test is normal.
Polyps and early colon cancers often cause no symptoms. This is why getting screened BEFORE symptoms occur is so important. If there are signs or symptoms, they could include:
- Blood in your stool
- Stomach pain or cramps that happen without reason
- Changes in bowel habits
- Losing weight and not knowing why
- Feeling weak and tired
- Feeling that you need to have a bowel movement after having one
Where to get screened (a colonoscopy) in Brooklyn
Coney Island Hospital
2601 Ocean Parkway
Brooklyn, New York 11235
Kings County Hospital Center
451 Clarkson Avenue
Brooklyn, New York 11203
Woodhull Medical and Mental Health Center
Brooklyn, New York 11206
For more information on "Colonoscopy," click here.