Colorectal cancers are very dangers types of cancers, they are not the deadliest ones but their seriousness is on a high scale. In 2016 alone around 140,000 people are diagnosed form these types of cancer, either colon or rectal cancer.
Colon is the longest part of the large intestine and lowermost part of the digestive system. Colon cancer or colorectal is the second major cause of cancer death. The disease is slightly more common in men than women and the risk of colon cancer increases with age. Water and salt from the solid waste after digestion from small intestine get extracted inside the colon, before it moves into the rectum for elimination from the body.
This is not new type of danger, colorectal cancer is common, but one of the main problems in this scenario is that a lot of people wait until is to late to get the needed treatment. The reason for this appearance is because the symptoms of this type of health treat is subtle and easily overlooked.
Signs and Symptims:
- Blood in your stool or bleeding from your rectum — any amount of bleeding might be a sign. So, it is very important to visit a professional if you have experienced this symptom.
- Sudden weight loss.
- Loss of appetite.
- Constant bloated feeling, and pain in the abdomen.
- Feeling of tiredness and weakness all the time.
- A change in bowel habits that lasts for an extended period (such as diarrhea or constipation).
- Jaundice (a yellow or green coloring of the skin and the white part of the eye).
- Nausea and vomiting in people who are over 50.
Obesity: being overweight increases the risk of the development of colorectal cancer in both men and women.
Physical inactivity: increased physical activity lowers the risk of developing any disease, and not just colon cancer. Regular exercising will help your body healthy.
Diet: Diets that are rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains are associated with a lower risk of colorectal cancer. You should also avoid red and processed meat.
Alcohol: several studies have confirmed the connection between colorectal cancer and increased alcohol intake, especially among men.
Smoking: family history of cancer, older age, and exposure to radiation. People who suffer from inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) or diabetes are also at higher risk of developing colorectal cancer.
Other Important Risk Factors for Colon Cancer
Though colon cancer is very preventable, there are still a number of important risk factors that people can’t control. Knowing which ones apply to you can help you understand your risk and take steps to lower it. If you feel you’re at high risk, talk to a doctor or health professional.
These can increase colon cancer risk:
- Older age, especially 60 years or older
- Family history of colon cancer
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Being tall (5 feet 8 inches or taller for women; 5 feet 11 inches or taller for men)
Ways to Prevent
Getting regular screening tests for colon cancer is the single best way to protect yourself from the disease. It can catch cancer early, when it’s most treatable, and help prevent the disease by finding abnormal growths called polyps that can turn into cancer. There are a number of effective screening tests for colon cancer. Some are easy to do but need to be done more often. Others are more involved but need to be done less often. Which test you have depends on your personal preferences and medical history. A doctor can help you decide.
Maintain Healthy Weight
Except for smoking, nothing else raises the overall risk of cancer more than being overweight. At least 11 different cancers have been linked to weight gain and obesity, including colon cancer. An ideal goal is to weigh around what you did when you were 18 years old. Realistically, if you’ve put on weight, the first goal is to stop gaining weight, which has health benefits by itself. Then, for a bigger health boost, slowly work to lose some pounds.
It hardly needs saying anymore, but not smoking is the single best thing you can do for your health. On top of raising the risk of serious diseases like heart disease, stroke and emphysema, smoking is a major cause of at least 14 different cancers, including colon cancer. If you do smoke, quitting has real benefits, which start shortly after your last cigarette. Call 1-800-QUIT-NOW or visit smokefree.gov for help. Talking to a doctor can double your chance of success.
Be Physically Active
It’s hard to beat regular activity. It lowers the risk of many serious diseases, including colon cancer, and provides a good mental boost. Any amount of physical activity is better than none, but it’s good to aim for around 30 minutes or more of moderate activity each day. Choose things you enjoy, like brisk walking, cycling, dancing or gardening.
Drink Only Moderately, if at All
Alcohol is a strange thing when it comes to health. It’s heart-healthy in moderation but can increase the risk of colon and other cancers at even low levels. So what does this mean? If you drink moderately (up to one drink per day for women, two per day for men), there’s likely no reason for you to stop. If you don’t drink, though, there’s no reason for you to start. Heavy drinkers should try to cut down or quit.
Limit Red and Processed Meat
Eating too much red meat – like steak, hamburger and pork – increases the risk of colon cancer. And processed meats – like bacon, sausage and bologna – raise risk even more. Try to eat no more than three servings each week. Less is even better.
Get Calcium and Vitamin D
There is good evidence that getting enough calcium and vitamin D can help protect against colon cancer. Shoot for 1,000 to 1,200 milligrams per day of calcium and about 1,000 international units (IU) per day of vitamin D. Some groups recommend testing for vitamin D deficiency, especially in those with increased risk of low levels, such as those living in northern parts of the country as well as elderly people, very overweight people and people with darker skin.
Consider a Multivitamin With Folate
A daily multivitamin is a good nutrition insurance policy that can also help protect against colon cancer. In addition to calcium and vitamin D, multivitamins contain folate, which has been shown
in numerous studies to lower the risk of colon cancer. Avoid mega-dose vitamins. A standard multivitamin is all you need.
Meet a Doctor
Always consult a doctor if you feel anything wrong with yourself. Before applying any medicine and method talk to your doctor first.