Summary: Colon cancer is one of the leading reasons for cancer deaths among adults, but it is also highly detectable with routine colon cancer screenings.
Next month is colon cancer awareness month, and GI Associates & Endoscopy Center endeavors to bring you colon cancer facts and information to help you protect your health against this disease. Cancer of the colon and rectum is the second most common cause of cancer deaths among adults. However, it is also among the most easily identified and, in many scenarios, preventable cancers through periodic screening exams.
GI Associates & Endoscopy Center offers state-of-the-art care for digestive health and provides support for individuals and their family members when undergoing a diagnosis and treatment for colorectal cancer. To learn more about our expert team of gastrointestinal specialists or to locate a colonoscopy doctor near you, please reach out to our GI office in Jackson, MS today.
What is colon and rectal cancer?
Colorectal cancer is the uncontrolled cellular growth that originates in either the rectum or colon (large intestine). It is sometimes called bowel cancer or colon cancer. The disease is very common, as 1 in 25 women and 1 in 23 men will receive a colorectal cancer diagnosis during their lifetime. According to the American Cancer Society, approximately 150,000 new cases of colorectal cancer were diagnosed in 2021.
What are common symptoms of colon and rectal cancer?
In the early stages, colorectal cancer might not exhibit any obvious symptoms or warning signs, and it could take around ten years for a premalignant growth (polyp) in the colon or rectum to develop into cancer. When an individual is having symptoms of colon cancer, they will likely report:
- A change in bowel habits
- Discomfort in the abdominal area
- Unintentional weight loss
- Ongoing diarrhea
- Bloody stools
In the event you or a loved one notices any of these colon cancer symptoms, contact GI Associates & Endoscopy Center in Jackson, MS promptly.
Know the risk factors for colon cancer
Although the distinct cause behind colorectal cancer remains unknown, there are factors that seem to put some individuals at a higher risk. These risk factors are:
- Family history of colon cancer: Around 25 – 30% of individuals with colorectal cancer have a family member who also has been diagnosed with the disease.
- Age: Even though colon cancer does develop in children and young adults, about 88% of new cases diagnosed are in people who are over 50 years of age, but recently, physicians have seen a trend toward earlier diagnosis. As a result, this has changed the age recommendation for routine colon cancer screening to 45.
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBS): Patients who have Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis are at an increased risk of colon cancer.
How is colon cancer identified?
Colon cancer can often be identified and diagnosed in the course of a cancer screening, such as a colonoscopy exam. Even though colon and rectal cancer is often very treatable if discovered early, roughly a third of adults in the United States are not up to date on their colon cancer assessments. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention surmises that about 68% of deaths caused by colon cancer could be averted if all those eligible were up to date on their screenings.
Patients with an average risk for colon cancer should receive their first colon cancer screening at age 45, according to the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF). To schedule a colorectal cancer screening in Jackson, MS, please reach out to GI Associates & Endoscopy Center.
Set up a colon cancer screening in Jackson, MS
If caught in the beginning stages, the prognosis for colorectal cancer patients is actually very good. Colon or rectal cancer that has not developed farther than the colon or rectum can often be effectively treated with a five-year survival rate of around 90%. To get screened for colorectal cancer in Jackson, MS, reach out to our office today. The experienced physicians at GI Associates & Endoscopy Center look forward to helping you manage your digestive health.