In 2015 the American Cancer Society estimates there will be over 93,000 new colon cancer cases. Individuals over the age of 50 are at the highest risk of being affected. The good news is over the past 20 years, the death toll for colon cancer has significantly dropped due to technological advancements and early detection- highlighting the importance of regular screenings.
According to Dr. Cary Gentry, Colon & Rectal Specialists, “Ninety percent of patients can be cured if colon cancer is discovered in the early stages- so the earlier the diagnosis the better the outcome.”
Take charge of your colon heath with the following information and tips.
Signs of Colon Cancer
Knowing your body is essential. If you experience any of the following symptoms you should make an appointment with your physician:
- Significant changes in bowel habits regarding consistency or frequency
- Abdominal cramping and bloating
- Unintentional weight loss, loss of appetite and fatigue
- Possible light or dark blood in the stool
- Rectal bleeding
Individuals between the ages of 50 and 75 should get yearly screenings. Here are several ways to lower the risk of colon cancer:
- Diet: Along with your physician, create an eating regimen that will allow you to maintain a healthy weight. Be sure to consume lots of fruits, vegetables and whole grains. This not only helps reduce the risk of colon cancer, but helps you maintain a healthy lifestyle
- Exercise: Speak with your doctor about what exercise program you can participate in to reduce your risk of colon cancer. Obesity has been closely linked with higher risk of colon cancer.
- Calcium and Vitamin D: Synergistically, they have been proven to reduce the risk of adenoma formation. Ask your doctor about taking these supplements.
- Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDS): NSAIDS, such as aspirin and ibuprofen, can reduce the risk of diseases like colon cancer. Talk with your doctor about usage of this medication.