The Importance of Early Colon Cancer Screening

What is the importance of early colon cancer screening?

early colon cancer screeningAre you dreading your next colon cancer screening? Should you have gone in sooner? While these procedures may not be the most comfortable experience, they do save lives. How important is early colon cancer screening? Dr. Kelly Shimabukuro has seen her share of cancer patients. The only way to know if you have colon cancer is through the screening process. Dr. Shimabukuro describes the benefits of early screening in this video.

For more information watch “Who Should Get a Colonoscopy?” with Dr. Jeffrey Weber.

Video Transcripts

Kelly A. Shimabukuro: Looking at the epidemiology of colon cancer, there have recently been some decreases in the amount of colon cancer seen and that has been attributed to early screening. So, I think early screening is really important in that it can potentially catch cancers early and the one thing we know about how colon cancer develops is that it’s a process that can take many years. So, it starts first with a polyp and that polyp becomes dysplastic or abnormal and over a course of years can develop into a cancer and not all polyps will become cancerous, but colonoscopies or early screening tools are a way to catch cancer early and there have been so many patients I see who didn’t have their colonoscopy until they had symptoms who tell me I wish I had just done that colonoscopy. People have different reasons for not doing screening and they are like, I don’t want to do the prep, I don’t, you know, this or that reason, but at the end of the day, it does catch cancers at an early stage and the fact is early stage cancers are much easier to cure than advanced cancers and metastatic cancers or cancers that have spread beyond the colon are very-very difficult to cure. So, I think early screening is very-very important because if you can catch a patient before the cancer has advanced, I mean you save the life, so that is how I feel about early screening.

Kelly Shimabukuro
Dr. Kelly Shimabukuro is currently the Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine at the University of California, San Diego department of medicine. She specializes in the management of gastrointestinal cancers including colorectal cancer, pancreatic cancer, esophageal cancer, hepatobiliary cancer and anal cancer. She has a particular interest in hepatocellular cancer and is working closely with our multidisciplinary hepatology team in the management of these patients. She has specialized training in clinical trial design and implementation and is integrating this into her practice.

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