Your colon, which comprises the extended portion of the large bowel, plays an important function in both health and digestion. As the leftovers of food pass through the colon, the last lingering nutrients and liquids are absorbed, and the waste then leaves the body through the rectum. Cancer that forms in the colon or rectum is commonly classified jointly as colorectal cancer.
The American Cancer Society estimates that roughly 150,000 new occurrences of colon cancer are disclosed every year. Fortunately, colorectal cancer is conveniently detectable by colonoscopy and, when diagnosed quickly, the likelihood of beating it is quite favorable. To identify a colonoscopy doctor near you and obtain a colorectal cancer exam, contact Adult Gastroenterology Associates in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, and Adult Gastroenterology Associates aims to deliver the facts you need about colorectal cancer to help keep you and your family healthy. Read on to learn five key points about colon and rectal cancer.
Colon and rectal cancer is the second leading reason for cancer deaths
Colorectal cancer is the second leading reason for cancer fatalities among men and women together. The American Cancer Society theorizes that around 52,000 men and women will die from colorectal cancer this year. Because of regular colorectal cancer screenings and colorectal cancer awareness nationwide, colorectal cancer deaths are decreasing. However, it is theorized that about one-third of adults in the U.S. are not up to date on their regular colonoscopy exams.
Colon and rectal cancer affects both genders equally
The American Cancer Society theorizes that about 1 in 23 men and 1 in 25 women will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer at some point during their lifespan. This shows that gender is not a colon and rectal cancer factor of risk; both sexes have around an equal risk of developing the disease. Colorectal cancer risk factors include:
- Having a family history of colorectal cancer
- Being obese
- Being over 45
- Having an inflammatory bowel disease
- Using tobacco products
- High alcohol consumption
There may be no indicators of colon or rectal cancer
As reported by the Colon Cancer Coalition, about 60% of patients identified with colon cancer are diagnosed with an advanced stage of the illness, likely because they did not receive a colonoscopy until there were symptoms of a problem. Individuals in the first phases of colon cancer will likely exhibit no symptoms of the disease, and when colon cancer does exhibit signals, it is usually advanced. If you are showing signals of colon cancer, they are likely to be:
- An alteration in bowel habits, like persistent diarrhea or long-term constipation
- Blood in your stool
- Abdominal distress or irritation
- Inexplicable weight reduction
If you or a family member is suffering from these colon and rectal cancer indicators, talk to a gastrointestinal doctor and obtain a colonoscopy as soon as you can. You can connect a GI doctor near you by getting in touch with Adult Gastroenterology Associates.
When diagnosed early, colon and rectal cancer is remarkably treatable
Colon and rectal polyps can take about 10 – 15 years to progress into cancer. Precancerous growths can be removed before they begin to pose trouble, which makes the colon and rectal cancer exceedingly avoidable in contrast with other forms of cancers. Women and men who are diagnosed with early, limited colorectal cancer have a significantly superior prognosis than individuals whose colorectal cancer has metastasized. The five-year odds of survival for localized colon cancer are around 90%. When found late, the five-year survival rate drops down to under 10%. Please do not hesitate to be screened.
You should start regular colon and rectal cancer screenings when you turn 45
If you are at an ordinary chance for colon and rectal cancer, then the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force encourages you to obtain your first colonoscopy when you are around 45 years old and then once every decade if no abnormalities are found. Individuals with an increased risk of colon and rectal cancer ought to obtain regular colonoscopies about every 3 – 5 years or as advised by a GI physician. Though several home-screening choices for colon and rectal cancer screening have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration, colonoscopy is still the gold standard for the identification and prevention of colon and rectal cancer.
Visit a GI physician in Tulsa, Oklahoma
Men and women facing colon and rectal cancer and different intestinal conditions can trust our physician-led system of GI doctors in Tulsa.
If you would like to schedule a colon cancer screening, please reach out to Adult Gastroenterology Associates as soon as possible. Our experienced gastroenterologists will prioritize your care, comfort, and needs.