Colorectal cancer in women: an underappreciated but preventable risk.
Donovan JM. Syngal S.
Department of Medicine, Brockton/West Roxbury VA Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.
Colorectal cancer is the third most common non-skin malignancy in women, after breast and lung cancer. Although approximately 40% of the 65,000 women diagnosed each year eventually die of the disease, colon cancer is highly curable when diagnosed at an early stage. Moreover, because the majority of colon cancers arise in previously benign colonic polyps, there is a substantial period, up to several years, in which removal of polyps can reduce the risk of colon cancer. Recently, the United States Preventive Task Force recommended universal screening for colon cancer after age 50. Strong evidence from randomized controlled trials and case-control studies supports use of annual testing for occult blood in stool and flexible sigmoidoscopy every 5-7 years. Although the risk of colon cancer is similar in men and women, women frequently have the perception that colorectal cancer is a man's disease. Partially in consequence, women are less likely than men to undergo screening sigmoidoscopy. Further barriers include primary care providers' lack of awareness of updated guidelines and patients' lack of compliance with multiple screening tests and their fear of discomfort. Because the risk of colorectal cancer can be reduced by up to 75% in those who undergo screening and subsequent surveillance to remove further polyps, it is crucial that women be targeted to undergo screening tests for colorectal cancer.
Bulimia: a primary care approach.
Batal H. Johnson M. Lehman D. Steele A. Mehler PS.
Denver Health Medical Center, Colorado, USA.
More common than anorexia and less easily detected, bulimia typically begins as an effort to control weight. Although the prognosis is better than that for anorexia nervosa, a number of medical complications can arise related to the mode of purging. Some of these complications can have profound deleterious sequelae if not diagnosed and treated.