It’s not always a comfortable topic, but Colorectal cancer is something we all need to think about. Also referred to as colon cancer, this type of cancer begins in the colon or rectum and can cause many problems with the digestion process. These types of cancer are more common than we’d like to think, Even more frightening, a new study from the American Cancer Society found a sharp incline in cases of colorectal cancer, especially among younger adults.
Overall, the lifetime risk of developing colorectal cancer is: about 1 in 21 (4.7%) for men and 1 in 23 (4.4%) for women. This risk is slightly lower in women than in men. – American Cancer Society
When diagnosed early, colon cancer is highly treatable. To help you stay healthy, and recognize the dangers of colorectal cancer, we’ve put together some information you should know at any age.
Am I at risk of getting colorectal cancer?
Colorectal cancer is the 2nd leading cause of death from cancer. Each year nearly 140,000 Americans are diagnosed with colorectal cancer. An alarming 50,000 Americans die from this cancer. The good news is that colorectal cancer is easily prevented!
How can I prevent colorectal cancer?
There are many ways to prevent colorectal cancer before polyps turn into cancer including:
- Start getting screened at the age of 50.
- Get at least 150 minutes of moderate intense exercise per week.
- Maintain a healthy diet.
- Avoid drinking more than the daily recommendation (1 alcoholic drink for women per day and 2 alcoholic drinks for men per day).
- Quit or avoid smoking.
What are the symptoms of colorectal cancer?
Symptoms may include: blood in or on the stool, stomach pain, aches or cramps that don’t go away, and unexplained weight loss.
How can I get screened?
There are a few different screening options for colorectal cancer, and finding the right choice for you will involve a conversation with your doctor. The different screening methods are a colonoscopy, high-sensitivity fecal occult blood test, stool test, fecal immunochemical test, and sigmoidoscopy.
“We may never understand illnesses such as cancer. In fact, we may never cure it. But an ounce of prevention is worth more than a million pounds of cure.” – David Agus
WHY SHOULD I GET SCREENED?
Colorectal Cancer can be highly preventable by simply getting screened. There are around 22 million people that are 50+ years old (the group at the greatest risk of developing this cancer) that have neglected to get screened. Getting screened will identify if there are any polyps growing in the colon or rectum. If polyps are found, they can easily be removed, which will prevent the chances of them turning into cancer.Colorectal Cancer: Know the risks by Sarah Mueller