Being diagnosed with cancer is something no individual wants to face. No matter if the news involves you, a friend, or a family member, it usually causes an overwhelming and crushing feeling. At Adult Gastroenterology Associates, we think that understanding the risks of the disease can enable you to better manner a cancer diagnosis. Familiarizing yourself with the indications, symptoms, and any family history of colorectal cancer can help you detect this condition early on and provide you with a wider range of options for care.
How is colorectal cancer identified?
Colorectal cancer is a disease that begins in the colon (large intestine) or rectum. At times referred to as “colon cancer” or “bowel cancer,” this disease occurs when cells in the colon or rectum multiply out of control. Cancer of the colon or rectum is commonly treatable. Our physicians recommend that individuals aged 45 and older have a routine colon cancer screening in Tulsa to reduce their risk of allowing this disease to go unnoticed. Furthermore, if you have had a family member with colon cancer or if you have been diagnosed with a bowel condition, such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, it is highly advised to begin screening for colon cancer as soon as you turn 45.
What are the signs and symptoms of colorectal cancer?
Apart from advising you to schedule colon cancer screenings on a routine basis, we also recommend that you gain an awareness of colon cancer signs and symptoms. Although they may not be obvious initially, knowing these signs and symptoms may help to detect cancer early on.
Signs and symptoms of colorectal cancer can include
- Changes in bowel movements or bowel habits
- Blood in your stool
- Difficult bowel movements or diarrhea
- Abdominal cramps, pains, or aches that persist
- Unintentional weight loss
- Incomplete bowel movements
Even though these signs or symptoms may seem indistinct, if recurrent, it is ideal to set up an appointment at Adult Gastroenterology Associates so our gastroenterologists can learn more about your health concerns. Our Tulsa, Oklahoma gastrointestinal specialists aim to err on the side of caution when it comes to your health.
Can I get colon cancer if I have a family history of it?
If you have a relative or family member that has been diagnosed with colon cancer, you should be aware that you might have an elevated chance of the disease. We encourage you to use this information to your benefit and make informed choices about when to get colorectal cancer screenings.
We strongly suggest that when visiting your gastroenterologist, you offer as much of your family history as you know. During your screening, you should provide details about the health history of your mother, father, brothers, and sisters, and your father and mother’s sides of the family (grandparents, uncles, aunts, nephews, nieces, and more). You should mention the type of cancer your family member had when they were diagnosed, and if cancer resulted in death. Having this information on hand can help our experts create the best preventive plan for your health.
If an immediate member of your family has had colon cancer, the GI doctors at Adult Gastroenterology Associates might suggest that you get a colonoscopy when you are about 30. When the relative is not an immediate family member, we advise colon and rectal cancer screenings starting at around 45.
Get screened for colon cancer in Tulsa
Even though being diagnosed with cancer is a daunting situation, understanding signs, symptoms, and risk factors can help you understand your chances of experiencing colorectal cancer and being diagnosed as early as possible. At Adult Gastroenterology Associates, our team is ready to help you screen for and detect colorectal cancer.
To meet with a GI doctor in Tulsa, contact our facility today.