Battling colon cancer

During the past 30 years, Jeffrey Milsom, director of colon and rectal surgery at New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center, has often been the bearer of bad news. The colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the US and the third most common in both men and women cancer. Each year, about 135,000 people in the United States are diagnosed, and more than 50,000 die. However, innovations in the detection, diagnosis and treatment have revolutionized the field and deaths from the disease have declined steadily.


As we age, most of us develop precancerous polyps and in fact, there is ample period of time-several years to remove a polyp and relieved. Unfortunately, people do not seek treatment in the early stages about 22 million people between 50 and 75 who should be screened do not.

Maybe not a liquid diet is necessary only

A colonoscopy is the best way to detect polyps, but preparation is a major impediment. A recent study found that people who the day before the exam ate small amounts of foods low in -eggs waste, white bread, white rice, chicken breast tolerated better than those who followed a diet of clear liquids exam. I am completely in favor of preparing easier for people.

Do not expect to see the doctor

Most symptoms of colon cancer are not specific: could have stomach pain, loss of appetite or feel swollen. Alternatively, you could be anemic. At any age, do not ignore this. If something persists for more than one or two weeks, seek medical advice.

Development of less invasive surgery

The standard practice to address colon cancer is surgery to remove the tumor, plus radiation and chemotherapy, if needed. Fortunately, our research group is developing sophisticated tools that will reduce the risks and costs considerably even in the next five to ten years these surgeries will be performed without requiring hospitalization. Our ideal solution would be to place a monitoring device within the intestine, which would inform us if you are losing blood or are developing abnormal cells in the colon.

Better safe than sorry

I suggest to my patients reduce consumption of red meat less than one serving a week and eating a diet rich in fiber and omega-3 . I take 2,000 IU of vitamin D a day and a low dose of aspirin; both can reduce the risk of cancer.