Colorectal cancer is one of the leading causes of death for American men and women. In one year, over 100,000 people are diagnosed with this cancer. Every person deserves a life free from all forms of cancer and illness, but survivors and fighters of this cancer deserve a special place in our hearts.
National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month is in March. This year, we wanted to highlight resources for treatment as well as information on risk factors so that certain actions can be avoided in the pursuit of health and happiness.
As it is for most cancers, a family history of colorectal cancer increases your diagnosis probability. But eating habits, exercise patterns, and more can also increase the likelihood of developing colorectal cancer, including:
- Red-meat heavy diets
- Frequent heavy drinking
- Sedentary lifestyle or too-little exercise
- Smoking cigarettes or dipping tobacco
Engaging in this lifestyle is not guaranteed to give you colorectal cancer. However, prevention is improved with abstention from these routines. Particularly if you have a family history of this cancer, try to limit red meat and alcohol consumption, abstain from smoking, and try to incorporate exercise into your weekly routine.
Colorectal cancer can be difficult to detect from symptoms alone. Experts suggest regular, frequent screenings, especially after turning 50. Still, symptoms can include:
- Rapid weight loss
- Abdominal discomfort and cramping
- Bright rectal bleeding
- Diarrhea and/or constipation
Of course, other symptoms may surface. If you are uncomfortable or experiencing a new feeling or potential symptom, speak with a doctor as soon as possible.
Treatment options for colorectal cancer are heavily dependent upon the stage of cancer. However, they can be broadly organized in the following categories:
- Surgeries — For early detection cases, surgery can be used to remove small, potentially-cancerous polyps in colonoscopies.
- Chemotherapy — In advanced cancers, drugs are used to destroy targeted cancer cells.
- Alternative treatments — Beware of solutions that sound too good to be true. However, complementary treatments to ease pain or symptoms may be available to you.
These are just some of the colorectal cancer treatment plans. Always talk to your doctor about the best options for your particular case.
How We Can Help
At GastroCareLI, we provide expert care for a variety of gastrointestinal issues, including colorectal cancer. Whether you have a family history of colorectal cancer and want to be screened, or you are experiencing concerning symptoms, we can determine the best course of action for you. To learn more, contact our offices today at (516) 265-7049.