Colorectal cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer in the United States and, as the second leading cause of cancer death in the country, it is also one of the most deadly. Over 135,000 new cases are diagnosed each year, but if detected early, it is one of the most preventable and beatable forms of cancer. Stay safe by staying in the know.
What are the symptoms of colorectal cancer?
Many cases of colon cancer have no symptoms. If you experience any of the following symptoms, however, make an appointment with your physician:
What are the risk factors?
Though the exact cause of colorectal cancer is unknown, certain factors can contribute to a person's likelihood of contracting the disease.
According to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 75% of colorectal cancers occur in people with no known risk factors.
Can it be prevented by any changes in lifestyle or dietary habits?
Some risk factors for colorectal cancer can be avoided or overcome by changing habits or making healthier choices. The links between diet, weight and exercise and colorectal cancer risk are some of the strongest for any type of cancer.
The following can contribute to the likelihood of contracting the disease:
Eating a more varied, vegetable-rich diet, maintaining a healthy weight and remaining active are some of the best ways to stay healthy and decrease your risk of colorectal cancer.
What else can I do to decrease my risk?
The single best thing you can do to prevent colorectal cancer is to get a regular screening if you have more than one existing risk factor, or are over the age of 50. Colorectal cancers almost always develop from precancerous polyps (abnormal growths) in the colon or rectum. Screening tests look for precancerous polyps, which can then be found and removed before they turn into cancer and cause further damage. There are several different kinds of tests used to screen for colorectal cancer.
Because colon polyps and early forms of colon cancer generally have no symptoms, it is very important to be screened regularly. No one test is the right one; each has advantages and disadvantages. Speak to your doctor about which option is right for you. Contact us to make an appointment today.