Colon and rectal cancer affect hundreds of thousands of people yearly. The colon is another name for the intestines. The rectum is the very end of the intestine right before the anal opening. Cancer in the colon typically spreads to the rectum and vice versa. Most of the time colorectal cancer starts with cancerous polyps that grow within in the intestines. Today colorectal cancer is the third most common type of cancer among both men and women. Due to improved technology, more and more people are surviving colorectal cancer.
Colorectal cancer is a common form of cancer. Obesity and poor diet is a common problem, especially among Americans. Poor diet has been associated with a high occurrence of colorectal cancer. Those with a high fat and low fiber diet are at a high risk for colorectal cancer. Fiber helps clean out the colon. The fat has been shown to affect the natural microbes in the intestine and cause inflammation. Based on this evidence, our diets should be high in fiber and low in fat. The intestine is divided into the small and large intestine. Most colon cancer occurs in the large intestine. When cancer develops in the lower end of the large intestines, it is more likely to spread to the rectum. Knowing the symptoms of colorectal cancer can help you obtain an early diagnosis.
There are many different symptoms of colorectal cancer. The main symptom of colorectal cancer is, changes in the digestive tract. Most people have control and an understanding of their digestive tract. They know that certain foods might make them sick and run their stomach off. Anytime there is a change in the digestion system; you take notice. Constipation and diarrhea may happen now and then but it does not last long. Anytime you are experiencing diarrhea or constipation for over a month; you could have cancer. Another sign is blood in the stool. That is not a normal phenomenon. Blood in the stool could mean the intestine or rectum is bleeding. Weakness and fatigue are a typical sign of cancer, but it can be ignored because people relate it to other factors. If you are losing an unexplainable amount of weight, that may also mean cancer is present. Cancer cells suck up all the nutrients in the body and typically cause you to lose weight and become frail. Abdominal cramps may be normal for most women, but when you are having cramps consistently whether man or woman, you should be checked out because that is not normal.
There are many risk factors for colorectal cancer. Heredity is one factor. Sometimes colorectal cancer run in the family. If that is the case, you should be consistent with getting your check ups. Age plays a role in this type of cancer. Colorectal cancer is extremely uncommon in those under the age of 50. Most physicians do not even recommend a colonoscopy until the age of 40. Race also plays a role. African Americans are seen to have a high risk of colorectal cancer. Intestinal problems put you at a higher risk. The inflammation may affect those microbes in the colon. If you have polyps, you have to continue to watch them. Polyps can be precursors to colorectal cancer. Weight may lead to cancer because of poor diet associated with weight gain.
The best way to prevent colorectal cancer is also the same way to diagnose colorectal cancer. Colonoscopies are necessary for colorectal cancer prevention. By getting regular colonoscopies, the doctor monitors polyp growth in the intestine. If the doctor can catch a polyp early, it can be removed before it even leads to cancer. If you already have cancer, a colonoscopy may also diagnose it.
No one wants cancer, but one thing to note is that it is both preventable and curable. Eating properly and exercising lowers the risk of colorectal cancer. Eating a diet high in fiber helps nourish the microbes in the colon and rectum as well as clean out the colon. Those fatty foods are not good for you. If you are in your forties, it is time to start getting your colonoscopy. It is not something you desire or dream of, but it can be the difference between you having colorectal cancer or not. For early stage cancer, treatment involves the removal of the polyps. Polyp removal does not have to be accompanied by any other therapy. For more aggressive colon cancer, it is necessary to remove part of the colon. You may also need radiation or chemotherapy. Early stage colorectal cancer leads to a great prognosis, but once colorectal cancer reaches stage three or four, the prognosis is much lower.
Colorectal cancer is common, but when it is diagnosed early, it is very curable. It can be hard getting older, but you eat healthily and exercise, you give yourself a better chance of living longer. It is amazing how much diet and exercise changes your health. A colonoscopy may not be something you look forward to as you get older but it can save your life. If you are experiencing any abnormal changes in your digestive system, make sure to see a doctor right away. Ignoring the symptoms can be the difference between a doctor removing a polyp and having to remove your whole intestine.
FIND A TOP10MD COLON RECTAL SURGEON NEAR YOU
There are hundreds of Colorectal Surgeons to choose from; however, not all doctors are created equal. Advanced Colon and rectal procedures take the skill and finesse of an experienced surgeon. That’s why we’ve selected your city’s best Colorectal Surgeons – to make the decision process easier for you and your family.
For your peace of mind, Top10MD Colorectal Surgeons’ credentials are validated yearly to verify medical licenses have no serious patient care sanctions, current Board Certifications in their given medical specialty, current DEA & DPS licenses, and malpractice insurance. A Top10MD has at least 5+ years experience or has performed 300+ procedures in their given specialty and a current Patient Satisfaction Score of 8.5 or higher.