Colon cancer (Colorectal Cancer or CRC) is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States. Colorectal Cancer rates are higher among men than women, and people over age 50 have a greater risk than younger adults.
What is Colon Cancer?
Colorectal cancer starts in the colon, which is the large intestine. It is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States, and its rates are higher among men than women. People over age 50 have a greater risk for colorectal cancer than younger adults. CRC can often be treated successfully if it is caught early. Symptoms of colon cancer include bowel habits, blood in the stool, abdominal pain, and weight loss.
Why Are Men at Higher Risk of Colorectal Cancer?
One of the reasons men are at a higher risk for CRC is that they are less likely to get screened for the disease. Colorectal Cancer often does not have any symptoms in its early stages, so men are more likely to develop the disease if they do not get screened. Men are also more likely to be diagnosed with advanced stages of colon cancer, which makes treatment more difficult.
Symptoms of Colon Cancer
– Changes in bowel habits
– Blood in the stool
– Abdominal pain
– Weight loss
– Unexplained tiredness
– Low red blood cell count (anemia)
– Joint pain
– Swelling in the legs or feet
See your doctor if you have any of these symptoms. Early detection is key to treating colon cancer.
What is a Colon Cancer Screening?
A colonoscopy is a procedure that allows a doctor to look at the inside of the colon and rectum. It is used to screen for CRC and can also diagnose Colon cancer. The Colonoscope is inserted into the anus and then moved up into the Colon and Rectum. This allows the doctor to see any tumors or polyps present. Polyps are growths on the lining of the Colon and Rectum that can often turn into cancer if left untreated. Colonoscopies are usually recommended for men over age 50 since they are at a higher risk for Colorectal Cancer.
There are four stages of Colon cancer- Stage 1, Stage 2, Stage 3, and Stage 4.
Stage 1 CRC is early-stage Colon cancer and is often treated successfully with surgery. Stage 2 Colorectal cancer is also early-stage Colon cancer, but it has spread to nearby lymph nodes. Stage 3 CRC is advanced Colon cancer and has spread to other parts of the body. Stage 4 Colorectal Cancer is the most advanced stage of Colon cancer, and it is often not curable.
How Is Colon Cancer Treated?
Colorectal cancer can be treated with surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or a combination of these treatments. The type of treatment depends on the stage of the disease. CRC is often treated successfully if it is caught early.
Get screened for colorectal cancer today. Colon cancer can be cured if it is caught early. Colon cancer screenings are available at most doctors’ offices. If you are over age 50 or have a family history of CRC, be sure to get screened for the disease.