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Second-highest cancer killer can be prevented

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WILMINGTON -- Colon cancer is the second-highest cancer killer of men and women in the United States, but it can be prevented. Charemon Salmons is 39 years old just underwent her second colonoscopy. She said, "My mother had a section of her bowel removed from when she had colon cancer and my uncle had a colostomy. They recommended that I have a screening every five years." Doctors recommend everyone have a colonoscopy every ten years once they turn 50. But if there's a family history the screenings should start earlier and be more frequent. Hanover Medical Specialists James Mertesdorf, M.D said, "A lot of people think, nobody in my family has ever had colon cancer so I'm safe. It turns out 70 percent of people that develop colon cancer have no family history." Dr. Mertesdorf say this year there will be almost 150,000 new cases of colon cancer and nearly half of those will be fatal. But there's hope: the cancer can be prevented with screenings. "Our goal is to take out the pre-malignant polyps before they can turn into cancer." Dr. Mertesdorf says it's an easy procedure. You're brought into the endo room, sedated have a colonoscopy and you're home within a couple of hours. Within a couple days after the procedure you're back to your regularly activities -- and the cost ranges from around $50 to $1,500 depending on your insurance and if you get the screening in a hospital or in a doctors office. "People shouldn't wait until they have symptoms, nor should they ignore it if they have no family history," Mertesdorf said. "They should take an opportunity the same way you have a pap smear and mammogram to find something before you know it. Take care of it and hopefully find a cure." Which is exactly why Salmons is at the office. She said, "'m afraid that I would have to either die of colon cancer or have to have a colostomy bag which is not the end of the world, but a screening is better." Dr. Mertesdorf says don't wait until you have symptoms of colon cancer to get a colonoscopy -- get one to prevent the cancer. He says the screenings are more than 90 percent effective in detecting precancerous growths.

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Second-highest cancer killer can be prevented

I'm glad Ms. Salmons is taking CRC screening seriously, and glad that she knows that having a colostomy isn't the end of the world, from a relative's experience. In fact, our organization (UOAA) exists for the very purpose of helping people return to their normal life-styles - or even better, if they had a chronic illness that was slowing them down. UOAA is United Ostomy Associations of America, a network of local support groups around the country - of which 4 are in North Carolina. Check our website to find contact information for the one nearest you. www.uoaa.org or toll-free 800-826-0826. To your good health!

been there done that colon &

been there done that colon & regualar yearly screening for 6 yrs will be 39 yrs old soon go back for colostomy 1 to 2 yrs found polop 1st colostopy top that been threw breast biopsy sense 20s she hasnt seen nothhing