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Your Healthy Family: Colon cancer is highly preventable - KOAA.com | Continuous News | Colorado Springs and Pueblo

Your Healthy Family: Colon cancer is highly preventable

Colon cancer is one of the most deadly forms of cancer for men and women combined.  Dr. Robert Hoyer, Oncology Medical Director at UCHealth Memorial also says it’s very treatable if it's caught early. Colon cancer is one of the most deadly forms of cancer for men and women combined. Dr. Robert Hoyer, Oncology Medical Director at UCHealth Memorial also says it’s very treatable if it's caught early.
COLORADO SPRINGS -

Colon cancer is one of the most deadly forms of cancer for men and women combined.  Dr. Robert Hoyer, Oncology Medical Director at UCHealth Memorial also says it’s very treatable if it's caught early.  

That’s something Hector Quijas knows first hand.  Hector says, ”I went to my primary doctor and said to him ‘I think something is wrong.’ ”  Hector worked in the medical field for 20 years as a cardiac surgical tech at Memorial.  He worked out regularly and thought he was in good health, until he noticed blood in the toilet.  ”From there, I went to see a G.I. doctor and he did what they do, and that is when they found cancer.”

Dr. Hoyer says for any patient, taking action as soon as symptoms present is key.  ”Colon cancer is really quite common when we look at the numbers.  In the United States, it's really quite staggering: There's about 135,000 new cases of colon cancer per year.  There are about 50,000 deaths a year from colon cancer and it's the second leading cause of cancer-related death for men and women combined.  In the U.S. over 10 years, it's the most preventable, but currently the least prevented type of cancer.”

Colon cancer can develop with many subtle symptoms.  Hector says he hopes everyone can learn from his experience and once you notice something's not right, don't ignore it.  “One thing you got to know, is you have to listen to your body.  If you keep on saying ‘I will be alright’, you will end up underground.”

Dr. Hoyer says there are warning signs of colon cancer to look for.  ”Diet and lifestyle are always a factor.  Diets that are higher in red meat and saturated fats have a higher risk of colon cancer.  It's also been shown that diets higher in vegetables, fiber and whole grains are shown to be protective against colon cancer.  So dietary factors are huge, as is exercise. And being around your ideal body weight is also a big factor that helps reduce the risk.”

Dr. Hoyer adds colon cancer can run in families, so know your family history.  In our next story, Dr. Hoyer will outline screening guidelines and the steps everyone should be taking to help reduce the fatality rate from colon cancer.


 

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