Colorectal cancer is cancer of the colon and/or rectum. The colon is the large intestine. The rectum allows waste to be released from our bodies. Colorectal cancer affects both men and women of all races and ethnic backgrounds. It is the second leading cause of cancer death and the third most common type of cancer in men and women.
Screenings for colon and rectal cancer should begin at age 50. Men and women should be screened every 10 years unless the doctor recommends differently. Over half of the colorectal cancer cases could be prevented if everyone got regular screenings.
Colorectal cancer screenings consist of a few steps. Individuals will ingest a medication that helps clean out their colon and rectum, preparing them for the procedure. When taking this medication you are not able to eat solid foods.
During the procedure a small tube with a camera at the end will be inserted into the colon through the rectum. The doctor checks for growths that are not normal called polyps. Often, the doctor can remove polyps the same day. After the procedure the doctor will tell you the results and when to follow up.
Risk Factors for Colorectal cancer:
- Being over the age of 50
- Family history of colorectal cancer
- Previous polyps
- Your own cancer history
- Diets low in fruits and vegetables, low fiber and high fat content
- Diseases that cause inflammation of the colon
Colorectal Cancer prevention tips:
- Eat foods high in fiber (fruits and vegetables)
- Reduce salt and fat intake
- Exercise regularly
- Limit alcohol consumption
- Quit smoking