Colon cancer, also known as colorectal cancer or CRC, is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer in the United States. Colorectal cancer happens when cells in a person’s colon or rectum begin to grow out of control, forming a tumor and eventually spreading to other parts of the body.
Colon cancers are usually slow-growing and can be treated successfully if they are found early enough. CRC is typically diagnosed in people over the age of 50, but there are things that you can do to reduce your risk of developing the disease.
Symptoms of Colon Cancer
Colorectal cancer can often be symptomless in its early stages, but there are some signs that you should watch out for. Symptoms of CRC may include:
- Blood in your stool
- A change in your bowel habits, such as diarrhea or constipation
- Abdominal pain or discomfort
- Unexplained weight loss
How can Colon Cancer be Prevented?
You can do several things to reduce your risk of developing Colorectal cancer. Some of the most important steps include:
- Eating a healthy diet: A healthy diet is essential for preventing many diseases, including CRC. Eating a diet high in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can help reduce your risk of cancer. It is also essential to avoid processed foods and foods high in saturated fat and sugar.
- Exercising regularly: Exercising regularly is another important way to reduce your risk of developing colon cancer. Exercise helps keep your body healthy and reduces your risk of cancer. It is essential to find an exercise routine that you enjoy and that fits into your schedule. Some good exercises to include in your routine are:
- Maintaining a healthy weight: Obesity has been linked with an increased risk of many types of cancer, including colorectal cancer.
- Avoiding smoking: Smoking cigarettes increases your risk of many types of cancer, including CRC. It is essential to avoid smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke to reduce your risk of developing this disease.
- Limit alcohol consumption: Alcohol consumption can increase your risk of many types of cancer, including Colon cancer. It is essential to avoid drinking alcohol and exposure to secondhand smoke to reduce your risk of developing this disease.
- Getting regular screenings: Colorectal cancer screenings can detect the disease in its early stages when it is most treatable.
Treatment Options for Colon Cancer
There are a variety of treatment options for colon cancer. Treatment options may include:
- Surgery: Surgery is the most common treatment for colon cancer. There are various surgical options available, depending on the stage of cancer.
- Radiation Therapy: Radiation therapy is a type of cancer treatment that uses high-energy beams of radiation to kill cancer cells. Radiation therapy is typically used with other therapies, such as surgery or chemotherapy, to treat CRC.
- Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy is a type of cancer treatment that uses drugs to kill cancer cells. Chemotherapy is typically combined with other therapies, such as surgery or radiation therapy, to treat Colon cancer. There are a variety of chemotherapy drugs available, and your doctor will choose the prescription or drugs that are best suited to your case.
- Hormone Therapy: Hormone therapy is a cancer treatment that uses hormones to kill cancer cells. There are a variety of hormone therapies available, and your doctor will choose the hormone therapy that is best suited to your case. Some standard hormone therapies include:
Getting Screened for Colon Cancer
Getting screened for colorectal cancer is an essential step in preventing the disease. CRC screenings can detect the disease in its early stages when it is most treatable. There are various screening options available, and your doctor will choose the screening that is best suited to you. The most common screening for colon cancer is known as a Colonoscopy.
What is a Colonoscopy?
A Colonoscopy is the most common test used to screen for Colon cancer. A Colonoscopy is a procedure that uses a thin, flexible tube called a colonoscope to examine the inside of the colon. The Colonoscope is inserted through the rectum and passed into the colon. The doctor can then view the Colon wall to look for Colon cancer and other problems.
If you are over 50, your doctor may recommend getting screened for Colon cancer every ten years. If you have a family history of Colorectal cancer, your doctor may recommend that you get screened at an earlier age or more often. You should always consult your doctor to determine what is best for you.
Colon cancer is the third most common type of cancer in America. Colorectal cancers are caused by polyps that grow in your colon and rectum, which can eventually turn into malignant tumors if they’re not removed or destroyed.
These tumors often develop slowly over the years as cells multiply to form new tissue – this process also means it’s easy for symptoms to go unnoticed. CRC screenings are essential for the early detection and prevention of the disease. If caught in its early stages, colon cancer is highly treatable.