Colon Cancer

Colorectal cancer is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer in both men and women, with approximately 1.8 million new cases reported globally in 2018. This type of cancer occurs in the colon or rectum and is often referred to as colon cancer or rectal cancer, respectively.

While various risk factors contribute to the development of colorectal cancer, such as

  • Age: Research shows that a person really should be going in to get checked out by the age of 45.
  • Family History: People with a first-degree relative (parent, sibling, or child) who has had colorectal cancer are at an increased risk of developing the disease.
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease: People with ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease have a higher risk of developing colorectal cancer.
  • Lifestyle Factors (e.g. diet and physical activity) also play a crucial role in contributing to the development of colorectal cancer.

To reduce the risk of developing colorectal cancer, experts recommend adopting healthy lifestyle habits and undergoing regular medical screenings. However, as technology progresses, new strategies are emerging for preventing and detecting this type of cancer early on.

In addition to screenings, there are emerging strategies that can help reduce the risk of developing colorectal cancer.

Increasing Awareness and Education

One key strategy for preventing colorectal cancer is increasing awareness and education about the disease. By educating individuals about the risk factors, symptoms, and screening options for colorectal cancer, they can make informed decisions about their health.

Educational campaigns and initiatives focused on promoting healthy lifestyle habits such as maintaining a balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables, limiting alcohol consumption, and engaging in regular physical activity can also contribute to preventing colorectal cancer.

Early Detection through Screening

One of the most effective strategies for preventing colorectal cancer is early detection through screening. Screening can detect precancerous polyps or tumors in their earliest stages, allowing for timely treatment and a higher chance of survival.

There are several screening options available, including colonoscopy, sigmoidoscopy, and stool-based tests. These tests can be performed in various settings, such as a doctor's office or at home with an at-home test kit.

Lifestyle Changes

In addition to early detection through screening, making certain lifestyle changes can also help prevent colorectal cancer. These include maintaining a healthy weight, engaging in regular physical activity, and following a healthy diet.

A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, while limiting red and processed meats, has been linked to a lower risk of colorectal cancer. Limiting alcohol consumption and quitting smoking are also important lifestyle changes that can decrease the risk of developing this disease.

Genetic Testing

For individuals with a family history of colorectal cancer, genetic testing can provide valuable information about their potential risk for developing the disease.

This type of testing can identify inherited gene mutations that increase the likelihood of developing colorectal cancer. Knowing this information can aid in early detection and allow for more personalized screening and prevention strategies.

Advancements in Treatment Options

Emerging advancements in treatment options for colorectal cancer are also helping to prevent this disease. For example, targeted therapies can help stop the growth of cancer cells by targeting specific genetic mutations.


Immunotherapy is an emerging treatment strategy for preventing and treating colorectal cancer. This approach involves using the body's immune system to fight cancer by either boosting its response or targeting specific proteins in cancer cells.

Currently, immunotherapy is primarily used for advanced stages of colorectal cancer, but ongoing research is exploring its potential for earlier stages and prevention. Studies have shown promising results in preventing the recurrence and spread of colorectal cancer through immunotherapy treatments.


While there is no guaranteed way to prevent colorectal cancer, these emerging strategies offer promise in decreasing the incidence and mortality rates of this disease. Early detection through screening, lifestyle changes, genetic testing, and advancements in treatment options are all important components in the fight against colorectal cancer.

By staying informed and taking proactive measures, we can significantly reduce the burden of this type of cancer. Let's continue to support and invest in these emerging strategies to make colorectal cancer a preventable disease for future generations.

We here at GI Associates are here to serve the Jackson, MS area as we continue to spread awareness of this disease. For more information, reach out and schedule an appointment.

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