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Cancer: Colon Message Board

Cancer: Colon Board Index

I am 56 years old and have had 2 colonoscopies. The first was when I was 51 and 4 small polyps were removed in the 2 to 5 mm range that were listed as having features suggestive of sessile serrated polyp. There was also a 5 mm polyp with overlapping features of sessile serrated and hyperplastic polyp removed from the ascending colon. I had a second colonoscopy 2 years later at 53 and and 2 polyps were removed 1-2mm and listed as polypoid mucosal excrescence with a stromal lymphoid aggregate.

My gi doctor is suggesting I get another colonoscopy this year which will be 3 years after the second colonoscopy. I am trying to decide whether to go ahead with it or delay for a year or 2. I have read some of the tables for surveillance and seems like it can range from 3 to 5 years for a third colonoscopy. My grandmother died of colon cancer so that might be an added risk. On the other hand, I have a very healthy diet and lifestyle and not sure how much to consider that.

I am also wondering if it would make sense to do the Cologuard test this year instead of the colonoscopy and stretch out the colonoscopy schedule. I worry about something going wrong with the colonoscopy, such as perforation. Not sure what the risks of perforation are versus the benefit of possibly detecting cancer with another colonscopy. Any thoughts or advice will be appreciated!

[QUOTE]........ I have a very healthy diet and lifestyle and not sure how much to consider that.[/QUOTE]

Hi Dave,

A healthy diet and lifestyle goes a long way toward prevention. Having said that, about 90% of those recently surveyed said their diet was healthy. But that doesn't seem possible when you consider that 2/3 of adults are overweight. So it depends on your interpretation of what constitutes a healthy diet.

In general you need 30 to 35 grams of fiber per day from natural whole foods like fresh fruit, a variety of vegetables including dark leafy greens, whole intact grains, legumes, and limited amounts of nuts and seeds.

Too much animal protein can promote the growth of cancer if you have it, but not enough is thought to be a risk too if you are very physically active. So I guess that means moderate amounts of lean protein, and those who recommend that usually say it should be organic. You just have to judge the amount by how physically active you are.

It's very important to avoid processed foods and that includes meat like hotdogs and deli meats etc. Processed foods are usually high in sodium, sugar, fat, and other additives but low in fiber and other important nutrients.

Avoid fried foods and vegetable oils in favor of limited amounts of olive oil. You can use olive oil and fresh lemon juice as a dressing in place of store-bought commercial dressings.

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