Summary: Since March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, we're bringing you five key points about this deadly but very avoidable and treatable disease.
Making up the longest section of the large intestine, the colon plays a vital function in digestion and general health. As the remnants of food pass through the colon, the last remaining nutrients and water are absorbed, and the waste is then pushed out of the body by way of the rectum. Cancer that develops in the colon or rectum is often grouped together as colorectal cancer.
The American Cancer Society theorizes that roughly 150,000 original cases of colon cancer are diagnosed annually. Luckily, colorectal cancer is conveniently discoverable by colonoscopy and, when identified quickly, the chances of overcoming it are extremely favorable. To connect with a colonoscopy doctor near you and book a colorectal cancer exam, please reach out to our team at GI Associates & Endoscopy Center in Jackson, MS.
March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, and GI Associates & Endoscopy Center hopes to provide you with the facts you need about colorectal cancer to help keep you and your family safe. Read on to find out five key points about colorectal cancer.
#1: Colorectal cancer is the second leading reason for cancer deaths.
The American Cancer Society theorizes that about 52,000 patients will die from colorectal cancer this year. Colorectal cancer is the second most reason for cancer deaths among women and men combined. Due to routine colorectal cancer screenings and colorectal cancer awareness nationwide, however, colon and rectal cancer fatalities have been on the decline. Unfortunately, it is calculated that approximately one-third of Americans are not up to date on their routine colonoscopy screenings.
#2: Colon and rectal cancer rates are relatively equal among men and women.
The American Cancer Society estimates that around 1 in 23 men and 1 in 25 women will be diagnosed with colon and rectal cancer sometime in the course of their lifespan. This indicates that gender is not a colon and rectal cancer element of risk; men and women have around the same chance of being diagnosed with colorectal cancer. The risk factors for colorectal cancer are:
- High alcohol consumption
- Being obese
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- A family history of colorectal cancer
- Being 45 or older
#3: There might be no warning signs of colorectal cancer.
Per the Colon Cancer Coalition, about 60% of women and men diagnosed with colon cancer are diagnosed with late-stage illness, possibly because they did not seek an exam until there were signs of trouble. Individuals in the beginning stages of the cancer may possibly present no indicators of the disease, and when colorectal cancer does display signs, it is usually late-stage. Indicators of colon and rectal cancer may include:
- Abdominal discomfort or pain
- A new change in bowel habits, like lasting diarrhea or prolonged constipation
- Unintentional weight loss
- Rectal bleeding
If you or a family member is experiencing these grave colon and rectal cancer signs, talk to a gastrointestinal physician in Jackson, MS and get a colonoscopy as promptly as possible. You can partner with a local gastroenterologist by contacting GI Associates & Endoscopy Center.
#4: When detected early, colon and rectal cancer is remarkably treatable.
Colon and rectal polyps can take around 10 – 15 years to become cancerous. Precancerous growths can be extracted before they begin to cause an issue, which makes colon cancer exceedingly avoidable compared to other cancers. Individuals diagnosed with early, localized colorectal cancer have a considerably improved survival rate than patients whose colon or rectal cancer has metastasized. The five-year survival rate for localized colon and rectal cancer is around 90%. When discovered late, the five-year odds of survival drop to less than 10%. Please do not wait for signs to be examined.
#5: Routine colon cancer exams should begin at age 45.
If you are at average risk for getting colorectal cancer, then the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force suggests you have your first routine colonoscopy around 45 years old and then once every decade if no abnormalities are detected. Individuals with a higher danger of colorectal cancer should get regular colonoscopies about every 3 – 5 years or as recommended by a gastroenterologist. Several home kit choices for colon cancer testing have been approved by the FDA; however, colonoscopies are still the gold standard for the identification and avoidance of colon cancer.
Visit a GI doctor in Jackson, MS
If you need a routine colorectal cancer screening, please contact GI Associates & Endoscopy Center as soon as possible. You can meet with an experienced GI specialist who will place your care and concerns first. Individuals facing colon cancer and various gastrointestinal diseases can put their faith in our doctor-led system of gastroenterologists in Jackson, MS. For further details on the fight against colorectal cancer or to learn how to book a colonoscopy, contact GI Associates & Endoscopy Center today.