Colon and rectal cancers affect both men and women (although the risk is slightly higher for men.) A healthy, active lifestyle and a high-fiber diet can help cut your risk, along with:
- Staying at a healthy weight
- Not smoking
- Limiting alcohol – no more than 2 drinks for men and 1 for women in a day
There are several factors that can increase your risk of colon and rectal cancer. These aren’t all within your control:
- Age (50-plus)
- Chronic colon conditions, such as Crohn’s disease
- Family or personal history of colon cancer or polyps
Most colon and rectal cancers don’t cause symptoms during early stages. When symptoms do appear, they can include:
- Change in stool
- Lumps in your groin area
- Pain or pressure
- Unexplained weight loss
The death rate from colorectal cancer has been dropping for several decades. A big part of this trend is due to doctors finding and removing colorectal polyps earlier. More than 90% of colon and rectal cancers are permanently cured when they are diagnosed early.
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends that, beginning at age 50 through age 75, men and women should have:
- Fecal occult blood testing every year
- Flexible sigmoidoscopy every 5 years
- Colonoscopy every 10 years
If you have a personal or family history of colon or rectal cancer, your doctor may recommend screenings more often.
You won’t be alone. Our cancer specialists are here to help diagnose and treat your colon and rectal cancer. We’ll help you and your family along your road to recovery with comprehensive treatment and plenty of information and support.