Colorectal Cancer Q&A: The Truth about Screening, Prevention, and More

A colonoscopy is the best way to screen for and prevent colorectal cancer (CRC) because it allows your doctor to find and remove precancerous growths called polyps before they have a chance to turn into cancer.

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends that most people have colonoscopy screenings starting at age 50. People who are at a higher risk for CRC due to family history or other factors should begin having screenings at a younger age based on their doctor’s recommendation.

Cologuard, an at-home test, is not a preventive CRC screening tool because it detects cancer after you develop it.

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Immune cells may improve accuracy of predicting survival in colorectal cancer

The density of immune cells, called tumor infiltrating lymphocytes, when combined with analysis of tumor budding may serve as a method to more accurately predict survival in patients with stage III colon cancer. The findings, by a team of researchers led by Mayo Clinic gastroenterologist and oncologist, Frank Sinicrope, M.D., were published today in Annals of Oncology.

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Beating Cancer – One Patient at a Time

Like most people, John Gifford wasn’t looking forward to a colonoscopy when he arrived on the UCI Medical Center campus in Orange in 2018. The Riverside man, 65, was concerned about his family history of colorectal cancer and had dutifully scheduled an appointment with UCI Health gastroenterologist Dr. William Karnes. The exam turned out to be intriguing and enlightening – a far cry from what one expects during a colonoscopy, Gifford recalls with a laugh.

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Study provides new understanding of mitochondria genome with potential for new avenues of treatment for multiple cancers

A study led by The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center furthered understanding about mitochondria, the cell components known as the “powerhouse of the cell.” Knowing more about the genome is crucial given that mitochondria play important roles in tumorigenesis.

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Less chemotherapy may have more benefit in rectal cancer

University of Colorado Cancer Center study presented at the 2020 Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium shows patients with locally advanced rectal cancer receiving lower-than-recommended doses of neoadjuvant chemotherapy in fact saw their tumors shrink more than patients receiving the full dose.

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Researchers identify new therapeutic target for colorectal cancer

Researchers at the University of Toronto have identified a key protein that supports the growth of many colorectal cancers. The study, which will be published December 27 in the Journal of Cell Biology, reveals that a protein called Importin-11 transports the cancer-causing protein βcatenin into the nucleus of colon cancer cells, where it can drive cell proliferation. Inhibiting this transport step could block the growth of most colorectal cancers caused by elevated βcatenin levels.

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Science Snapshots From Berkeley Lab

This edition of Science Snapshots highlights the discovery of an investigational cancer drug that targets tumors caused by mutations in the KRAS gene, the development of a new library of artificial proteins that could accelerate the design of new materials, and new insight into the natural toughening mechanism behind adult tooth enamel.

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