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Cancer Care Costs U.S. $156 Billion Per Year; Drugs a Major Factor

Private insurers paid out about $156.2 billion in 2018 for U.S. patients with the 15 most common cancers.

Medication was the largest expense and drugs for breast, lung, lymphoma and colon cancers accounted for the largest chunk of those costs, according to a Penn State College of Medicine study.

"The public often hears that the U.S. spends an inordinate amount of money on health car...

Colon Cancer Diagnoses Fell 40% in Pandemic, and That's Not Good News

Colon cancer numbers dropped dramatically during the COVID-19 pandemic, but that doesn't mean fewer people have the disease.

In Spain, researchers discovered a more than 40% decline in colon cancer diagnoses, leading experts to worry about the ramifications.

"These are very worrying findings indeed -- cases of colorectal cancer undoubtedly went undiagnosed during the pandemic. Not ...

New Tests for Colon, Prostate Cancer Show Promise

A pair of experimental tests could help doctors detect colon or prostate cancer with just a sample of blood or saliva.

One test examines a person's blood for four biomarkers linked to inflammation. In a small study, it outperformed the fecal blood test now used in colon cancer screening, said lead researcher Dr. Mona Eldeeb, of Alexandria University Medical Research Institute in Egypt.

Could a Japanese Plant Turn Cold Cuts Into Healthy Fare?

There's good news for health-conscious sausage and bacon lovers.

A new study suggests the Japanese knotweed plant could be used to make healthier cured meats.

According to researchers, this fast-growing plant that invades gardens and buildings contains a chemical that could take the place of the preservative nitrite, which has been linked to cancer, in cured meats. That might not on...

People With MS Have Worse Survival If Colon Cancer Strikes

Multiple sclerosis (MS) patients diagnosed with colon cancer may have a greater risk of dying from cancer or other causes in the next six months to year than colon cancer patients without MS, a Canadian study finds.

"These results warrant further investigation to determine what factors may lead to shorter survival times," said study author Dr. Ruth Ann Marrie, a professor of neurology at ...

Having Even a Cousin or Grandparent With Colon Cancer Raises Your Risk: Study

Colon cancer risk runs in families, and it's not just a parent or sibling having had the disease that should concern you.

If you have a second- or third-degree relative who had colon cancer at an early age, your odds of having the disease substantially increase, a new study finds.

First-degree relatives include parents, children and siblings. Second-degree relatives include aunts, ...

Too Many Antibiotics Might Raise Colon Cancer Risk

Here's another reason to avoid unnecessary use of antibiotics: Long-term use of these medications could increase your risk of colon cancer, researchers say.

"While in many cases antibiotic therapy is necessary and saves lives, in the event of less serious ailments that can be expected to heal anyway, caution should be exercised. Above all to prevent bacteria from developing resistance but...

Vitamin D Might Help Prevent Early-Onset Colon Cancer

Foods rich in vitamin D may help protect younger adults against colon cancer, researchers report.

While colon cancer is decreasing overall, cases among younger adults have been on the rise. The trends dovetail with a decline in vitamin D intake from foods such as fish, mushrooms, eggs and milk.

There is growing evidence of a link between vitamin D and risk of colon cancer death, but...

Immune-Based Therapy May Help Some Battling Advanced Colon Cancers

Immunotherapy helped extend the lives of some patients with the most common type of advanced colon cancer, researchers report.

The new findings are important, they noted, because immunotherapy doesn't typically work against microsatellite stable (MSS) colon cancer. These patients have few treatment options once their disease no longer responds to chemotherapy.

This study included 95...

Incomplete Polyp Removal During Colonoscopy Can Bring Cancer Danger

Colonoscopy screening can help prevent colon cancer by allowing doctors to find and remove potentially pre-cancerous growths called polyps. But if they fail to get the whole growth, the odds of a recurrence are high, a new study shows.

The likelihood that it will occur within the next few years more than doubled.

Repeat exams found a new growth in the same colon segment 52% of the t...

Bogus Info on Cancer Common Online, and It Can Harm

Don't believe everything you read on social media about cancer and cancer treatment.

A new study finds that one-third of the most popular articles on social media about treatment for common cancers contains misinformation -- and most of it can be downright dangerous.

"The worst-case scenario is when it leads to a person declining proven cancer treatments in favor of a treatment tha...

Mixed Progress Against Cancers in Teens, Young Adults

There's some encouraging news for U.S. teens and young adults with cancer.

Survival rates have improved for several types of cancer, though gains have been limited for some common kinds, according to a long-term study published online July 26 in the journal Cancer.

The researchers used a wealth of accumulated data "to piece together a larger part of the cancer survival st...

Most Cancer Screenings Make Big Rebound After Pandemic Decline

A major U.S. hospital system had a strong rebound in most cancer screening tests after a steep drop-off in the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, a new study shows.

The findings are based on an analysis of data from the Boston-based Mass General Brigham system. Depending on the type of test, between March and June of 2020, the number of cancer screenings dropped off between 65% a...

U.S. Deaths From Cancer Continue to Decline

Americans' overall death rate from cancer continues to fall -- but rising rates of certain cancers and ongoing racial disparities linger.

Those are among the findings of an annual report to the nation from several major cancer organizations.

The good news includes an accelerating decline in the overall cancer death rate, among both women and men, and across racial and ethnic groups....

Could Too Many Antibiotics Raise Your Odds for Colon Cancer?

Antibiotics may increase the risk of colon cancer, especially in younger people, U.K. researchers report.

"To our knowledge, this is the first study to link antibiotic use with the growing risk of early-onset colon cancer -- a disease which has been increasing at a rate of at least 3% per year over the last two decades," said study co-author Sarah Perrott, a cancer researcher at the Unive...

Too Little Sunlight, Vitamin D May Raise Colon Cancer Risk

New research finds that countries with more cloudy days tend to have higher colon cancer rates. Lower levels of vitamin D, the "sunshine vitamin," may be to blame.

So, boosting your vitamin D levels through exposure to sunlight could help reduce your risk of colon cancer, according to researchers at the University of California, San Diego.

"Differences in UVB [ultraviolet-B] li...

Could Home Test for Colon Cancer Mean a Big Medical Bill to Come?

You decide to take a popular colon cancer screening test that can be performed at home, and it comes back positive. A follow-up colonoscopy is scheduled, but then you suddenly receive a large and unexpected medical bill.

That's what happened to a Missouri woman who was hit with $1,900 in medical expenses after using the popular at-home colon cancer screening test called Cologuard.
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Could a DNA Blood Test Spot a Range of Hidden Cancers?

Could a new one-and-done blood test designed to detect as many as 50 different types of cancer become a diagnostic game changer?

Yes, say researchers, who report the method appears accurate and reliable at identifying and locating cancer, including some kinds for which there are now no effective screening methods.

"[The test] sets the stage for a new paradigm of screening individual...

For People With Heart Failure, Statins May Lower Cancer Risk Too

Many people with heart failure take a cholesterol-lowering statin, and new research suggests those pills might also lower their odds for cancer.

Researchers analyzed data from more than 87,000 people in Hong Kong who had no history of cancer and were hospitalized for heart failure between 2003 and 2015.

They were followed until they were diagnosed with cancer, died or until the end ...

Colonoscopy After 75: A Potential Lifesaver for Most

If you're over 75, being screened for colon cancer could save your life, a new study says.

This week, the influential U.S. Preventive Services Task Force lowered the recommended age to begin colon cancer screening from 50 to 45 for people without a family history of colon cancer, but did not change its advice to halt routine screening at age 75.

After that age, the decision to be s...

Key Factors That Raise Your Odds for Early-Onset Colon Cancer

Colon cancer is on the rise among people under 50, and the million-dollar question is why.

Now, new research suggests that certain lifestyle factors, such as eating lots of red meat and heavy alcohol consumption, may play a role in this increase.

"The occurrence of colorectal cancer in people less than 50 years of age is increasing in many countries, but the causes of this are poorl...

Get First Colonoscopy at 45, not 50: U.S. Expert Panel

A lot of people think of age 50 as the magic number for getting a first colonoscopy, but earlier is better, a prestigious U.S. expert panel now says.

Based on evidence that younger people are being diagnosed with colon cancer and would benefit from screening, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) is moving the recommended age for colon cancer screening from 50 to age 45.

Obesity Raises Odds for Many Common Cancers

Being obese or overweight can increase the odds of developing several types of cancers, new research from the United Kingdom reveals.

But shedding the excess pounds can lower the risk, researchers say.

Reducing obesity cuts the risk for endometrial cancer by 44% and uterine cancer by 39%, and could also prevent 18% of kidney cancers and 17% of stomach and liver cancers, according t...

Lots of Sugary Drinks Doubles Younger Women's Colon Cancer Risk: Study

Rates of colon cancer among young Americans are on the rise, and a new study suggests that drinking too many sugary beverages may be to blame -- at least for women.

Women who drank two or more sugar-sweetened beverages such as soda, fruity drinks or sports and energy drinks per day had double the risk of developing colon cancer before the age of 50, compared to women who consumed one or ...

Relatives' Colonoscopy Results Could Affect Your Colon Cancer Risk

Having close relatives with colon polyps -- which can be precursors of cancer -- could mean that you have a higher risk for colon cancer, researchers say.

Colon cancer is the second deadliest form of cancer in the world, according to the World Health Organization.

Being overweight and inactive increases the risk, but genetics also play a role, researchers in Sweden and Boston said ...

Americans Missed Almost 10 Million Cancer Screenings During Pandemic

Nearly 10 million cancer screenings have been missed in the United States during the coronavirus pandemic, researchers report.

The investigators analyzed data on three types of cancer for which early screenings are most beneficial -- breast, colon and prostate -- and found that 9.4 million screenings for these cancers did not occur in the United States due to COVID-19.

Screenings fo...

FDA Approves First AI Tool to Boost Colonoscopy Accuracy

TUESDAY, April 13, 2021 (HealthDay News) --The first device that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to help detect possible signs of colon cancer during colonoscopy has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The GI Genius uses AI-based machine learning to help identify lesions such as polyps or suspected tumors in real time during a colonoscopy, according to the agency.

The Future of Cancer for Americans

At first glance, it appears that little will change between now and 2040 when it comes to the types of cancers that people develop and that kill them, a new forecast shows.

Breast, melanoma, lung and colon cancers are expected to be the most common types of cancers in the United States, and patients die most often from lung, pancreatic, liver and colorectal cancers, according to the lates...

Why So Many New Cancer Diagnoses When Americans Turn 65?

A few years ago, Dr. Joseph Shrager, a professor of cardiothoracic surgery at Stanford University School of Medicine, noticed that lung cancer diagnoses were noticeably higher at age 65 than at slightly older or younger ages.

"There was no reason rates should differ much between the ages of 63 and 65," Shrager said.

He discussed this with his colleagues, who said they were seeing so...

The 5 Foods That Cut Your Odds for Colon Cancer

When it comes to guarding against colon cancer, what you eat is everything.

You can reduce your risk of colon cancer by eating five food types, an expert says. These include: vegetables; whole grains; legumes; nuts and seeds; and fiber-rich fruit.

"Vegetables contain cancer-preventing nutrients called carotenoids and flavonoids," said Amy Rosenfeld, program coordinator of community ...

Research Reveals How Aspirin Helps Prevent Colon Cancer

New research offers insight into why regular, long-term use of low-dose aspirin may reduce the risk of death from colon and rectal cancers.

Resarchers found that aspirin prevents blood cells called platelets from producing an enzyme that allows them to clump together. Tumor cells can attach to these clumps and spread (metastasize) throughout the body.

"Aspirin inhibits platelet act...

Obesity Tied to Shorter Survival in Cancer Patients

Obesity may shorten the lives of patients with certain types of cancers, but not others, a new research review concludes.

The analysis, of more than 200 studies, found that across numerous cancers, obesity was linked to shorter survival. The list included breast, colon, prostate, uterine and pancreatic cancers.

On the other hand, patients with lung, kidney or melanoma skin cancer al...

Don't Delay Your Cancer Screenings, Surgeons' Group Urges

Many people may have postponed cancer screenings during the coronavirus pandemic, but a major medical group says now is the time to catch up.

The American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer is urging people to resume recommended cancer screenings to prevent further delays that could lead to diagnosis after a cancer is more advanced.

"Regular cancer screening tests can improve...

Drug Used to Prevent Miscarriages May Be Upping Cancer Rates Decades Later

Kids born to moms who took a drug widely used to prevent miscarriages in the 1950s and 1960s may be twice as likely to develop cancer in adulthood.

The drug in question, hydroxyprogesterone caproate, also known as OHPC or 17-OHPC, is a man-made version of the hormone progesterone. It is no longer used to reduce the chances of miscarriage, but it's still prescribed to prevent preterm birth...

U.S. Cancer Screening Rates Back to Normal After Pandemic Dip

After a sharp drop early in the COVID-19 pandemic, rates of routine breast and colon cancer screening soon returned to near-normal levels, a new study finds.

"These are the first findings to show that, despite real fears about the consequences of drop-off in cancer screens, health facilities figured out how to pick this back up after the initial pandemic restrictions," said lead study aut...

Doubly Good: Healthy Living Cuts Your Odds for the 2 Leading Killers

The same lifestyle habits that protect the heart can also curb the risk of a range of cancers, a large new study confirms.

The study of more than 20,000 U.S. adults found both bad news and good news.

People with risk factors for heart disease also faced increased odds of developing cancer over the next 15 years. On the other hand, people who followed a heart-healthy lifestyle c...

Abnormal Stool Test Result? Don't Delay Your Colonoscopy

Getting a colonoscopy as soon as possible after an abnormal stool test could reduce your risk of colon cancer and death from the disease, researchers say.

In a new study, investigators analyzed data from more than 200,000 U.S. veterans, aged 50 to 75, who had an abnormal fecal immunochemical test (FIT) or fecal occult blood test (FOBT).

Both are common stool blood screening tests. A...

When Heart Attack Strikes, Cancer Patients Often Miss Out on Lifesaving Treatment

Too few cancer patients who have a heart attack are receiving emergency angioplasties that could save their lives, a new study finds.

"This is an important study, which underscores the broader issue in cardio-oncology of cancer patients too often being passed over for potentially beneficial procedures," said Dr. Robert Copeland-Halperin, a cardiologist unconnected to the new research.

...

Breast Cancer Surpasses Lung Cancer as Leading Cancer Diagnosis Worldwide

Breast cancer has surpassed lung cancer as the world's most commonly diagnosed cancer.

In 2020, there were an estimated 19.3 million new cancer cases and nearly 10 million cancer deaths worldwide, according to the Global Cancer Statistics 2020 report from the American Cancer Society (ACS) and the International Agency for Research on Cancer.

Overall, 1 in 5 people get cancer during t...

Discovery Could Explain Why Black Americans More Prone to Colon Cancer

New research reveals why Black Americans might be more vulnerable to colon cancer than white people are.

The researchers examined age-related "epigenetic" changes in colon tissue. These changes affect how genes work.

The investigators found that in both Black and white people, one side of the colon ages biologically faster than the other. But the side that ages faster is different, ...

Daily Aspirin Can Lower Colon Cancer Risk, But Age Matters

Low-dose aspirin may help some people curb their risk of developing colon cancer -- but not if they wait until age 70 to start, a large, new study suggests.

Researchers found that when people began using aspirin in their 50s or 60s, their risk of developing colon cancer after age 70 was trimmed by 20%.

There was no such benefit, however, among people who began using aspirin at age 7...

Men, Make Health Your Goal This Year

The new year is the ideal time to focus on your health and one expert has some tips, especially for men, for doing that.

According to Dr. Kevin McVary, director of Loyola Medicine Men's Health Center, in Maywood, Ill., "Men don't always focus on their health and, in fact, men are less likely to see a doctor or utilize health resources, and wait longer than women to seek care. Often, it's ...

Fewer U.S. Cancer Patients Are Dying From Suicide, Study Finds

New research reveals an encouraging trend: Despite the rate of suicide rising overall for Americans, U.S. cancer patients are actually less likely now to take their own life than in the past.

Researchers at the American Cancer Society (ACS) tracked national data on causes of death among Americans for the years 1999 through 2018. They found "a decreasing trend of cancer-related suicide du...

Cancer Screening Fell Sharply Early in Pandemic, But Has Rebounded

As clinics closed for non-essential care and patients' COVID-19 fears kept them from check-ups, the United States saw a steep drop in cancer screenings and diagnoses during the first peak of the pandemic, a new report finds.

Researchers analyzed data on how many patients underwent cancer screening tests -- procedures such as mammograms, colonoscopies, Pap tests, PSA blood tests for prosta...

U.S. Cancer Death Rates Keep Falling: Report

Improved lung cancer treatment is a major reason for the 31% decline in cancer death rates in the United States between 1991 and 2018, including a record 2.4% decrease from 2017 to 2018, the American Cancer Society says.

How the COVID-19 pandemic will affect this downward trend is unknown, the society noted.

"The impact of COVID-19 on cancer diagnoses and outcomes at the population ...

For Many Cancer Patients, Diagnosis Brings Psychological 'Silver Lining'

Could a cancer diagnosis sometimes produce positive life changes? In a new study, many people with colon cancer, even in advanced stages, believed their diagnosis had brought some beneficial effects to their lives.

In surveys of 133 colon cancer patients, researchers found that nearly all -- 95% -- said their lives had benefited in some way since their diagnosis. Often, they felt their f...

Cancer Survivors at Higher Odds for Second Cancer: Study

Cancer survivors are at greater risk of developing another cancer and dying from it, a new study finds.

These new cancers can result from a genetic predisposition, from treatments such as radiation and chemotherapy used to fight the first cancer, as well as from unhealthy lifestyles such as smoking and obesity, according to researchers from the American Cancer Society.

Some of these...

Obesity's Influence on Colon Cancer Risk May Vary by Gender: Study

Obesity affects colon cancer risk differently in women and men, new research reveals.

British researchers analyzed data from more than 58,000 people with colon cancer and nearly 68,000 without.

The takeaway: A higher body mass index (BMI, an estimate of body fat based on height and weight) is more dangerous for men, while a higher waist-to-hip ratio (a measure of abdominal fat) is m...

MS Has Mixed Impact on Patients' Cancer Risk: Study

How does having multiple sclerosis (MS) affect a person's odds for cancer? The answer may depend on the type of cancer, new research shows.

The study found that MS patients do have much greater odds of developing bladder cancer compared to people without the illness. But there was good news, too: Their risk of breast and colon cancer is no higher than for people who don't have MS, accordi...

Black Cancer Survivors Often Face Added Challenges: Study

Social and financial struggles are common among Black American cancer survivors and take a heavy toll on their health-related quality of life, according to a new study.

Health-related quality of life among cancer survivors -- how a person perceives their mental, physical and social well-being -- tends to be significantly lower among Black Americans than in other groups.

In this stud...