Colon cancer is the second resulting cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States among cancers that affect both men and women some 93,090 new cases are expected in 2015 alone. But theres a good chance you dont know the signs of colon cancer, how often you should be screened, or what sets you at a greater risk.
Knowing these basics and some of the lesser-known facts about colon cancer could help keep you and those around you healthy.
1. People frequently overlook colon cancer signs and symptoms .
When colon cancer is saw early, the survival rate is relatively high. But too frequently, the signs and symptoms are ignored.
It can take 10 to 15 years for abnormal cells and new polyps to develop into colon cancer. This is ample lead time to identify and remove the growths. Colon cancer rates have fallen over the last 20 years, which is attributed largely to better screening practises but still only about half of U.S. adults age 50 and older follow screening recommendations.
Although the American Cancer Society indicates regular colorectal cancer screenings begin at age 50, those with risk factors like a family history of the disease should speak with their doctors about starting annual screenings at an earlier age. Also talk to your doctor about any of the following symptoms, which could be signs of colon cancer 😛 TAGEND
Blood in the stool
Cramping, pain or chronic abdominal bloating
Diarrhea, constipation or narrow stools that are outside of the norm for you and continue for more than a few days
Feeling the advise to have a bowel movement, but not being alleviated after doing so
Unexplained weight loss, wearines and weakness
2. Your doctor may miss the signs .
Even if you identify the symptoms of colon cancer, theres a risk youll be misdiagnosed. According to a 2014 examine, one in 20 American adults are affected by a misdiagnosis. And though colon cancer misdiagnoses are relatively rare, affecting 0.007 percent of U.S. adults annually, the potentially fatal outcomes construct the few diagnostic blunders that do happen all the more important.
Research proves different diagnostic methods often have different results, and your doctor may simply misread a test outcome or underestimate the seriousness of your symptoms. If you have concerns about your diagnosis, or absence thereof, dont be afraid to seek a second sentiment.
3. Rates are higher and outcomes worse for certain populations .
Half of all premature colon cancer demises connected to disparities in race, education and geography, according to the American Cancer Society. Research has shown a higher incidence of demise among colon cancer patients who are racial minorities, have only a high school education or less, or live in the South.
The research, which was published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, suggests if everything colon cancer patients experienced the lowest death rates of the most educated, white colon cancer patients, there would be nearly 8,000 fewer premature deaths every year nationwide.
4. Colon cancer risk is tied to red meat intake .
Multiple examines have linked a higher incidence of colon cancer to a diet rich in animal proteins, and especially red meat. A 2005 European analyze that tracked 478,000 men and women received those who ate about five or more ounces of red meat per day were about 33 percent more likely to develop colon cancer. That same year, researchers in the U.S. detected red and processed meat consumption to be linked to an increased risk of cancer, especially colorectal cancer.
Its important to note that these studies procured correlations , not causation. In other words, they didnt prove red meat causes colon cancer, merely that the two may be linked. On the other hand, a diet rich in vegetables, fruits and whole grains may help lower your risk, so redistributing section sizings on your plate may be in order.
5. IBD and type 2 diabetes put you at increased risk .
If you suffer from inflammatory bowel illnes( IBD) or type 2 diabetes, you are at a greater danger of developing colon cancer.
IBD includes Crohns disease and ulcerative colitis, two conditions that cause chronic inflammation of the colon. This inflammation can lead to dysplasia, or abnormal cells, that can become cancerous over time.
Likewise, people with Type 2 diabetes are at an increased risk. Much of this is due to shared risk factors for diabetes and colon cancer, like obesity, but even after accounting for these factors, the highest rate remains. The overall health of Type 2 diabetics also means that they have a worse prognosis once diagnosed with colon cancer.
For both of these diseases, officials recommend colon cancer screenings start earlier and happen more frequently.
Colon cancer is preventable
Many of the risk factors for colon cancer are within your control. From preserving a healthy weight to feeing right and watching for abnormal symptoms, you can reduce your risk of getting the disease, and increase the possibilities of a positive outcome thanks to early intervention. Even when you have a family history or a risk factor like IBD, regular screenings can identify polyps before they become cancerous.
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