Colon Cancer..

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    Nov 26, 2010 4:36 PM GMT
    Ok im sitting at home watching Dr Oz and he just got screened and found that he had two pollops which were cancerous. Now there is no symptoms for colon cancer and i would like to know how early in age should gay males be screened? Normally your at risk if your over 50, have a diet filled with fat and of African American background. Also it is hereditary. So being a gay male ( not that colon cancer has anything to do with the gay lifestyle) should i go get screened earlier via colonoscopy now or in my early thirties? Anyone or doctors or premeds care to share opinions?
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    Nov 26, 2010 4:45 PM GMT
    I had a white male friend who died of colon cancer at age 34 and now have another white male friend who at age 27 had to have part of his colon removed and now has a bag because of colon cancer. If statistics show black males may be at more risk I would definately have the colonoscopy done. I started being tested at age 50 and luckily didn't even have any pollops . Diet has everything to do with it though, and a little secret from older folks is eating oatmeal regularly because its good for the intestinal tract and the colon, it helps keep your elimination regular. Good luck to you.
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    Nov 26, 2010 5:33 PM GMT
    I heard in the absence of any genetic or other factors, starting at age 40 then every 5 years. Polyps even benign would lead to more aggressive screening. Check out this link - look especially at Risk Factors link on the left.

    http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/colon-polyps/DS00511
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    Dec 06, 2010 7:01 AM GMT
    Such a very amazing link! Thanks you for the reply.

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  • dfrourke

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    Dec 06, 2010 7:05 AM GMT
    This is a great question...I was always told if you have a family history, you should be checked [colonoscopy or sigmoidoscopy] by 40-45...

    I just had my first sigmoidoscopy at 38...everything looks great...but I was also presenting with some symptomology...so I am not certain I would have been as adamant about the test if I didn't have some symptoms...

    - David icon_wink.gif
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    Dec 06, 2010 7:37 AM GMT
    My advice would be better safe then sorry. Go ahead & have it done just to have something to compare to in the future if something does develop later on.
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    Dec 24, 2010 6:05 PM GMT
    Get checked and ask your Doctor how often you should get re-checked, given your family history. Remember that family history doesn't guarantee you'll get it too. And there are ways to reinforce your heath to ward off such diseases by making high quality food choices. Dark leafy greens, less meat etc - do all that you can and then enjoy your life - worrying about it will only make things worse. If you want to learn more about the dietary aspects, let me know.
    Take care, Joe
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    Jan 25, 2011 2:18 AM GMT
    i'm a physician. general screening is for anyone over the age of 50
    if you have a first-degree relative with colon cancer, you get screened ten years before their age of diagnosis (eg: if they were diagnosed at 54, get your colonoscopy at 44).
    being gay doesn't increase your risk for colon cancer. it does however increase your risk for anal cancer, assuming you ever had anal sex or had a penis rubbed on your anus.
    good ways to reduce colon cancer risk: exercise, high fiber diet, low red meat intake, maintain normal BMI (<25)
  • rioriz

    Posts: 1056

    Jan 25, 2011 2:23 AM GMT
    I have two great grandparents who died of colon cancer and have been diagnosed myself with IBS since age 12. I get a colonoscopy every 5 years and have cut out red meat over 15 years ago. Just do as the above post mentioned and you should be good! It is one of the worst cancers to go through and I hope to never have to deal with it!
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    Jan 25, 2011 3:00 AM GMT
    Here is a comprehensive starting point on colorectal cancer: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/colorectalcancer.html

    The National Cancer Institute offers a risk calculator based on epidemiological data: http://www.cancer.gov/colorectalcancerrisk/. Unfortunately, it's only for those age 50 and up. However, you could still enter all the relevant information (entering your age as 50), knowing that the calculated risk would be less for you since you are 24 right now.

    If you have a family history of colon cancer, you are at increased risk for FAP, HNPCC, and other subtypes (full information on the abbreviations, availability of genetic testing, etc. on familial colorectal cancers is reviewed here: http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMra012242).


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    Jan 25, 2011 3:07 AM GMT
    forgot to mention that screening for average-risk african-americans begins at age 45; all other ethnicities at age 50
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    Jan 25, 2011 3:13 AM GMT
    My father is a colon cancer survivor (he was 50 at the time of diagnosis), and it was reccomended I get one (at 22), then every five years until
    I turn 40, then once a year from there on out.

    Family history and genetics play a huge role in determining risk, but so does diet. If you're concerned, talk with you doctor about all those factors and decide if you should get one earlier than 50.