Did you know that colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in America? Fortunately, the disease is highly preventable—if only you get screened regularly starting around age 50.
Take Action Against Colorectal Cancer
- Don’t smoke, and if you do, quit.
- Be physically active at least three times a week.
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Don’t drink alcohol in excess.
- Get screened from age 50 on regularly to find precancerous polyps.
Why is it so important to get tested for colorectal cancer?
Risk increases with age and over 90 percent of colorectal cancers happen in those aged over 50 years. Precancerous polyps don’t always show symptoms, so you could have cancer and not realize it. If you see blood in your stool or have stomach aches or cramps that don’t go away, you should not ignore these symptoms and see your doctor immediately.
A high-sensitivity fecal occult blood test (FOBT) is recommended every year, with a colonoscopy every 10 years.
For those who are diagnosed with cancer, your doctor will recommend a treatment plan based on how invasive your cancer is. For early stage colon cancer, they will remove the polyps during colonoscopy or other minimally invasive surgery to remove the polyps.
More invasive and advanced cancers may require a partial colectomy (removal of some of the colon) or a colostomy (an opening from your abdomen for waste to leave your body faster in a bag). Chemotherapy, radiation therapy and targeted drug therapy may also be used to treat aggressive cancers.
While March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness month, there’s no better time to be screened for colorectal cancer. If you are in need of a colonoscopy or test to determine your risk, visit Nevada Surgery and Cancer Care, a center dedicated to treating colorectal cancers with minimally invasive techniques. Learn more about our services on our website or make an appointment today.