July 20, 2007 / 9:30 PM / 12 years ago

Facts on colon cancer

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President George W. Bush will undergo a colonoscopy on Saturday, a routine check for colon cancer.

Here are some facts about colon cancer:

— An estimated 153,760 Americans will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer this year, and 52,180 Americans will die from the disease, the American Cancer Society says.

— It is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer and the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States, after lung cancer.

— Colonoscopies are screening tests that can detect the disease at its earliest, most treatable stage or even prevent it by removing precancerous growths called polyps.

— Colonoscopy is advised for everyone 50 and older

— The procedure requires the patients to cleanse the bowels first, usually by taking a strong laxative or enema and then sticking to clear fluids for the day before the exam.

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