An easily overlooked colon abnormality turns out to be likely to turn cancerous. It is more common than had previously been thought.
Generally, doctors search for polyps, abnormal growths that stick out from the lining of the colon. But another type of growth is both more dangerous and harder to see because it is flat and similar in color to healthy tissue.
It takes a trained and vigilant eye to see these growths, and special techniques to remove them.
Colon cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer death in the United States, causing about 52,000 deaths a year. It is one of the few cancers that is totally preventable if precancerous growths are found and removed.
* New York Times March 5, 2008