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D. Screening Methods for Colon Cancer

Narrator: This is Science Today. While there's been some debate over which colon cancer screening method is best, one thing is clear the importance of getting one if you are 50 and older or at higher risk. Dr. Uri Ladabaum of the University of California, San Francisco says that's because colon cancer, which is the second leading cause of cancer death in this country, is very preventable.

Ladabaum: We have many screening options available. Colonoscopy may not be for everybody, but it's clear that some form of screening is better than no screening. So I would urge everybody to consider some form of screening, whether it's fecal occult blood testing, sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy. And then, when virtual colonoscopy and other emerging methods are available, those can be considered as well. But it is more important to get screened with whatever modality one chooses than to be essentially paralyzed by the dilemma of which screening test one should use.

Narrator: One advantage for patients is that if screening is normal and no symptoms develop, they don't need to be tested again for another ten years. For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.