Articles Colon Cancer

Summary: Understanding the signs and symptoms of colon and rectal cancer, along with your family's history of the disease, can help you safeguard your health.

Being diagnosed with cancer is a health concern nobody wishes to endure. Regardless of whether the diagnosis involves you, a friend, or a relative, it generally results in a crushing, overwhelming feeling. At GI Associates & Endoscopy Center, we believe being mindful of the risks can allow you to have greater control over such a diagnosis. Becoming familiar with the symptoms, indications, and any family history of colon and rectal cancer can help you catch it early on and provide you with greater treatment options.

How is colorectal cancer detected?

Colon and rectal cancer arises in the large intestine (colon) or rectum. Sometimes referred to as "colon cancer" or "bowel cancer,” this condition causes the cells in the large intestine or rectum to multiply out of control. Colon and rectal cancer is often treatable. Our physicians recommend that adults aged 45 and older get routine colorectal cancer screenings in Jackson, MS to lessen their chances of having this disease go undetected. Furthermore, if you have had a family member with colon cancer or if you have been diagnosed with a digestive condition, such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, it is highly advised to begin screening for colon cancer once your turn age 45.

Understand the signs and symptoms for colorectal cancer awareness

Aside from advising you to receive colorectal cancer screenings regularly, we also suggest that you learn about colorectal cancer signs and symptoms. Though the indications might not be evident initially, understanding these signs and symptoms might help to identify the disease earlier than normal.

Common signs and symptoms of colorectal cancer might include the following:

  • Changes in bowel habits or bowel movements
  • Bloody stools
  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Persistent cramps, aches, or abdominal pains
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Incomplete bowel movements

While these signs or symptoms might seem indistinct, if repetitive, it is a good idea to schedule a consultation at GI Associates & Endoscopy Center so a specialist can review your concerns. Our Jackson, MS gastroenterologists prefer to exercise caution when it comes to your health.

Can I get colon cancer if a family member has it?

If you have a relative that has or has had colon and rectal cancer, you may have an elevated risk of developing the disease. We urge you to use this information to your advantage and make informed decisions about your health.

It is essential that when visiting a GI doctor, you relay as much of your family history as possible. When working with your gastroenterologist, it is a good idea to discuss the health history of your immediate family, including your mother, father, and any brothers and sisters, as well as your mother and father’s sides of the family (grandparents, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and more). If possible, provide the form of cancer your loved one had, when it was discovered, and whether the cancer was the cause of death. Having this information on hand can help our doctors establish the best possible preventive care treatment plan.

Our team at GI Associates & Endoscopy Center might recommend that if an immediate member of your family has had colon cancer, you need a colonoscopy exam when you are around the age of 30. If the relative is not an immediate relative, it is recommended to start screening for colorectal cancer around 45 years of age.

Set up your screening for colorectal cancer in Jackson, MS

Even though a cancer diagnosis is always frightening, understanding signs, symptoms, and your family history can help you assess your chances of developing the disease and receive a diagnosis early. At GI Associates & Endoscopy Center, we are here for you and ready to help you screen for and detect colorectal cancer. To partner with a GI specialist in Jackson, MS, contact our team today.

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