Colon cancer is the fourth most diagnosed form of cancer in the United States. One of the biggest aspects in preventing colon cancer is working to live a healthy lifestyle through diet and exercise. Regular screenings with a physician are also critical due to early detection making treatment significantly easier and more effective.
Colon Cancer Symptoms
According to Dr. Nelson, colorectal surgeon, “Colon cancer symptoms present typically when the disease is advanced and may not even be treatable or curable at that point. Those symptoms are rectal bleeding (usually dark blood and clots; sometimes passing tissue). Pelvic pain is worrisome as is abdominal pain. Unexplained weight loss and loss of appetite are concerning. Unexplained anemia and an abdominal mass are late presentations of right sided colon cancers in some cases. Many times, there will be a change in bowel habit, which can be the first presenting symptom that something may be amiss. Although, the list is long of things that can cause that that aren’t cancer related. Colonoscopy would be indicated in all these instances.”
Dr. Wilkinson, Radiation Oncologist, explains, “Many patients in the early stages of colon cancer do not experience any significant symptoms. However, as the cancer develops patients may begin to experience changes to their usual bowel habits, such as constipation, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, feeling as if you haven’t emptied your bowel after a bowel movement, light or dark blood in your stool, loss of appetite, weight loss, pain during bowel movements and stomach pains. If a patient is experiencing any of these symptoms, they should seek medical consultation.”
Although the jury is still out as to why exactly colon cancer rates are climbing in individuals under 50, many physicians point to the increase in the prevalence of unhealthy lifestyles as a major cause. Smoking, alcohol consumption, obesity, and highly processed diets are all contributing factors for increased colon cancer rates
An individual can reduce their risk of colon cancer by:
- Exercising at least 3 times a week for at least 30 minutes each session.
- Eating a diet that is high in fiber, fruits, the right kinds of vegetables, and whole grains while remaining low in saturated fat and added sugar.
- Removing chemicals from your lifestyle, which means that you avoid smoking or drinking in general.
- Avoiding overeating and if you are obese, start to make small, incremental improvements to your lifestyle on a daily basis to slim down and reduce negative health effects.
- Knowing your family history, because if colon, rectal or other types of cancer are in your family, you’ll need to take the above steps even more seriously.”
- Source: eatthis.com/health/