March 8, 2022
What is Colon Cancer?
Colon cancer or what is known as colorectal cancer is one of the most common cancers in the world and t results from tumorous growths in the colon. Although it is very common, the chances of preventing and treating it are high. If you are 40 or older, you should get screened as soon as possible to identify risk factors and prevent the disease.
Screening is the Best Prevention Tool
Several screening tests have been developed to help doctors detect colorectal cancer before the first symptoms appear, when it is more treatable. People who are at increased risk for colorectal cancer because of a family history of colorectal cancer or documented advanced polyps, or because of inflammatory bowel disease or certain inherited conditions, are advised to start screening earlier and go for more frequent screening.
Screening is the best way to prevent colorectal cancer. Your gastroenterologist can detect and remove polyps during a colonoscopy before they develop into invasive cancer, which can occur over time and becomes more likely the larger the polyps are.
Do Not Ignore the Signs
Regardless of how old you are, talk to your gastroenterologist about any new or worrisome symptoms, even those that are difficult to communicate, such as:
- Blood in/on the stool
- Weight loss
- Change in bowel habits
- Change in the shape/size of the stool
- Pain in the abdomen or rectum
Are You at High Risk?
Your risk of developing colorectal cancer increases with age. Other risk factors include:
- Age 40+
- Family history of cancer
- Low fiber diet
- History of inflammatory bowel disease
- Smoking history
- Heavy alcohol consumption
Get Regularly Screening
Colorectal cancer usually does not cause symptoms until late stages, so proactive screening is one of the only ways to detect this type of cancer.