“The take-home message is that there seems to be a misconception that colon cancer is a disease of men. It affects each gender equally and there is a select group of women, as evidenced by these findings, who are at higher than average risk,” lead researcher Dr. David S. Weinberg, of the division of gastroenterology and hepatology at Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, told Reuters Health.
“Physicians and interested women should be aware that an increased risk exists and they should consider more fully the idea of participating in colon cancer screening. Colon cancer screening has been shown to reduce death from the cancer,” he adds.
“Little emphasis has been placed on colorectal cancer awareness for women with gynecologic cancers in their 40s and 50s, Weinberg and colleagues write. But “greater colorectal cancer risk after endometrial or ovarian cancer emphasizes the importance of colorectal cancer screening in this group,” they conclude.
Risk factors may include a strong family history of colorectal cancer.
Weinberg and colleagues suggest that women who were diagnosed with ovarian or endometrial cancer before age 50 have a similar risk as those with a first-degree relative with colorectal cancer.
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