Diagnosis of colorectal cancer is happening earlier in the disease’s progression. That’s good news for patients, because caught early, colorectal cancer is extremely responsive to treatment. In fact, regular testing is one of the best preventative measures available to fight this type of cancer.
Doctors across the country are recommending early testing—by age 50 in most cases, younger for people with increased risk. Certain chronic conditions can raise your risk, as well as some aspects of lifestyle. Because colorectal cancer doesn’t show any symptoms in the early stages, it’s important to get tested even if you don’t feel or look sick.
A new testing process is being investigated that, if successful, would find colorectal cancer before it develops. The non-invasive in-home screening looks for signs of altered DNA created by precancerous polyps. If any are found, the patient an seek treatment right away, and there is a very good chance that the cancer will not develop or can be entirely eliminated.
Treatment for colorectal cancer doesn’t always require chemotherapy or radiation. Canadian researchers are looking for ways to improve existing treatments and create more alternatives to chemotherapy, and another study suggests that a form of aspirin that includes the compounds nitric oxide and hydrogen sulfide. Researchers say these compounds target cancer cells without irritating the stomach. In addition, research is ongoing that explores ways to design effective therapies for colorectal cancer on a patient-by-patient basis, so that each person gets the best possible treatment program tailored for him or her.