The Colon Checkup

Forget the embarrassment and discomfort. Those tests for cancer can save your life

Few details have been released about Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's recent surgery for colon cancer. And other than wishing Ginsburg a speedy recovery, I'd rather not delve into her personal business. But there are a couple of important facts--and potentially lifesaving guidelines--that everyone should know about colon cancer. Ginsburg's illness prompts me to offer a mini review.

First the facts: This year, 130,000 Americans will learn that they have developed a tumor somewhere in the inner lining of their colon or rectum. For those whose cancer is discovered at the earliest stages, the odds of living at least five...

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