Health

Colon Cancer Cases On The Rise In US: All You Need To Know

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Almost 136,000 people were identified as the victims of colorectal cancer in 2016 and more than 50,000 people have died due to the ailment.

This sort of cancer is becoming a threat for Americans and is the second major reason for deaths, which are related to cancer in the U.S.

“The toll this disease takes on minorities is especially high,” saidJonca Bull, M.D, Director of the FDA’s Office of Minority Health.

If the cancer is diagnosed at an early stage and treated properly, then the chances of death from colorectal cancers can be decreased significantly. However, most people don’t have much opportunity to get early treatment or screening.

How Does It Occur?

A sudden growth of a tumor in the area of rectum or the colon generally causes colorectal cancer. That said, not all the tumor growth gives any sign of cancer. During the screening process, the tumor can be destroyed by the doctors before it turns into cancer. The following factors may increase the chances of colorectal cancer:

Smoking,

Having previous case of instigative bowel disorder or diabetes,

Family or personal history of having colorectal cancer or colon tumors, and

Genetic disorder such as Lynch or FAP.

Although, these symptoms do not affirm colorectal cancer, one should still check with a doctor if they are experiencing any of the following symptoms:

A sudden change in the bowel activities such as constipation, diarrhea etc.

Trace of blood in stool, often pains for gas, bloating or cramps etc.



Feeling of tiredness and urge to vomit along with weight loss without any reason.

Right Time To Start Screening

It is predicted that 50 years is the most risky time to be diagnosed with colorectal cancer, but there is no assurance that it won’t come sooner. People with high risk should be screened early and on a regular basis.

Some Screening Options

A colonoscopy should be done every 10 years.

Flexible sigmoidoscopy should be done every five years.

Fecal blood test should be done once a year.

Stool DNA test should be done every three years.

Virtual colonoscopy should be done every five years.

There are many people who have been diagnosed with colorectal cancer, but are living their lives with the help of screening, medicines and surgery.

How To Reduce The Risk

Although, many factors may put you at risk such as age, race and ethnicity (along with your medical history), but there are ways to decrease to amount of risk. How can one do so? By keeping a normal weight, having a healthy and balanced diet, as well as exercising regularly. Reducing the amount of alcohol and cigarette intake will also help.

Photo: Steve Davis | Flickr

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