Colon cancer is becoming an increasing problem for Americans, and the risk factors for developing this disease jump strikingly after reaching the age of 50. Although there are some early warning signs of colon cancer, the best method for detecting colon cancer is a colon cancer scan. It should be received at least once every five years and more often if you are in a high-risk group. Even if you notice one of the following symptoms, a colonoscopy can help determine whether or not there is an underlying health problem.
Early Signs & Symptoms of Colon Cancer
Changes in bowel habits
This is the most common symptom of bowel cancer, but because many other conditions can cause similar symptoms, they often go unnoticed. The changes may include frequent constipation or diarrhea, especially if they occur more than three times a week. Changes in the size of the stool may also be an indication that something is wrong. Stools that are narrower than normal may indicate a blockage of the colon.
Blood in the stool
This can go unnoticed for years, especially if the bleeding is occult or internal. This blood is usually quite dark and it can be difficult to recognize. Another bleeding is usually quite red. It is very important to check the color of your stool and see if there is any occult or rectal bleeding, as these can be serious signs.
Stomach pain and/or cramps
Unusual pain in your stomach area or frequent cramps may be a sign that there is an abnormality in your colon. This symptom may be transmitted as a gas, but if you experience a lot of unusual pain, it is vital to report these symptoms to your doctor.
Weakness and fatigue
These symptoms have many possible causes, especially when they occur infrequently and intermittently. More chronic symptoms may indicate that something more serious is present, and they may also be the result of anemia, which is common with rectal or internal bleeding. If you experience sudden weakness or fatigue that you cannot shake for more than a few days, it is vital to speak to your doctor.
A feeling of pressure on your rectum
This is usually described as the feeling of having to go to the bathroom, but there is no bowel movement. Even if you can endure a movement, you can still feel that pressure.
Essential Facts To Know About Colon Cancer
Do you know that Colon Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States? Do you know the risk factors of colon cancer? Do you know how to prevent colon cancer? Here are four essential facts about colon cancer that you may not know, but knowing these facts can help keep you and your loved ones informed and healthy.
1. Colon cancer has several risk factors. Knowing your risk and communicating with your doctor is essential to stay free of colon cancer. You are at a higher risk for colon cancer than you are:
Are over 50 years old
Are of African-American descent
Have a personal history of bowel cancer
Have inflammatory bowel disease
Eat a high-fat diet and – or lots of processed or red meat.
2. Some genetic diseases increase the risk. Two conditions called familial adenomatous polyposis and Lynch syndrome are the most common diseases that give you a much higher risk of developing bowel cancer. Talk to your doctor about early screening if you have any of these conditions.
3. What you eat matters. Certain foods increase the risk of bowel cancer. If you eat a high-fat, low fiber diet and eat a lot of red meat, you are at a higher risk of developing bowel cancer. Eating a high-fiber, low-fat diet, and getting daily exercise helps reduce your risk of bowel cancer.
4. Colon cancer is treatable and can be cured. Through regular colonoscopy, colorectal cancer can be diagnosed and treated even before there are symptoms. Colon cancer is the only form of cancer that is diagnosed and treated before cancer develops. Colonoscopy and bowel examinations have been so useful that the number of cases of colorectal cancer has decreased over the past 15 years.
Staying in touch with your doctor may be the best choice you make. Call your doctor if you have changes in your bowel habits, experience pain, or unexplained weight loss. Also, make an appointment if you have a family history of bowel cancer. You are a candidate for early screening. The best prevention is regular visits to your doctor and timely colonoscopies. Every medium-risk adult should have a baseline colonoscopy at 50. Do not delay taking this essential step in maintaining good health.
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