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BY G.S. Raju, MD., Department of Gastroenterology, MD Anderson Cancer Center and Roy Soetikno, MD, Department of Gastroenterology, Palo Alto VA Medical Center, Stanford Medical School, Palo Alto

Colon cancer is relatively common. Slightly more than 1 in 20 Americans will develop it during their lifetime. Unlike many other cancers, however, colon cancer is preventable.

Colonoscopy, the gold standard in colon cancer prevention, is a simple procedure compared to the emotional and physical turmoil that one would go through dealing with colon cancer. All that is required is taking the time off to prepare for and undergo the...