Wednesday, November 25, 2020
 Your Physical Health And Well Being

Get Screened For Colorectal Cancer Timely Diagnosis Matters

Doctor discussing cancer tests with a patient

Be on your guard about the health of your colon.

Become informed about colorectal cancer and inquire about screening because the health of your colon is critical to your wellbeing.

Risk Factors: Exact causes of colorectal cancer are unknown but, risk factors do exist. You're more likely to develop colorectal cancer if you have certain risk factors.

  • Colorectal cancer affects all racial and ethnic groups.
  • Frequently found in people ages 50 and older. It can also happen in younger age groups.
  • It is as common in women as it is in men. 
  • A history of ulcerative colitis or Crohns disease.
  • Family history of colorectal cancer.

The risk also increases if you have a personal history of colorectal polyps. Most colon cancers develop first from colorectal polyps lodged on the inside of the colon or rectum. However, many polyps are non-cancerous.

Additional factors that play a role in the development of colorectal cancer include smoking, obesity, eating lots of red or processed meats. Even so, many people who get colorectal cancer may not have any known risk factors.

Symptoms: Colorectal cancer symptoms may not be apparent in the early stages. However, late-stage symptoms include bleeding from the rectum, blood in or on the stool, and changes in bowel habits.

Stools may become narrower than usual, and there may be general abdominal problems such as bloating, fullness, or cramps. There may be constant bouts of diarrhea or constipation and feelings that the bowel movement is not quite complete.

Abdominal pain, vomiting, and weight loss for no apparent reason, as well as feelings of fatigue, may be evident.

Prevention Matters: 

The best way to prevent colorectal cancer is to get screened regularly starting at age 50. Screening is the process of looking for cancer in people who do not have any symptoms of the disease. Screening can detect pre-cancerous polyps and the early removal of polyps. Prescribed Screenings include any of the following. 

  • Rectal exam.
  • Fecal occult blood test.
  • Barium enema.
  • Flexible sigmoidoscopy,
  • Colonoscopy.

Early on in this disease process, there are often no signs or symptoms. But, this condition responds best to treatment when diagnosed and treated as early as possible. 

Do not hesitate to get your colon cancer screening.