Did you know that colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States? In fact, according to the American Cancer Society, it is responsible for about 50,000 deaths each year. That’s why it’s essential to be aware of the possible causes of colorectal cancer to take steps to reduce your risk.
What is colon cancer?
Colon cancer, also known as Colorectal cancer or CRC, is a type of cancer that starts in the colon, the large intestine. CRC is one of the most common types of cancer, and it can occur in both men and women.
What are the Causes of Colon Cancer?
The exact cause of colorectal cancer is unknown, but several things may increase your risk. Some of the most common causes include:
– Age: The risk of CRC increases with age.
– Diet: Eating a lot of red and processed meat can increase your risk.
– Smoking: Smoking cigarettes can increase your risk of colon cancer.
– Alcohol: Drinking alcohol may increase your risk of colorectal cancer.
– Obesity: Being overweight or obese can increase your risk of CRC.
– Genes: Some people may be more likely to develop colon cancer because of their genes.
– Inflammation: Long-term inflammation in the colon may increase your risk of colorectal cancer.
– Lack of Exercise: Not getting enough exercise may increase your risk of CRC.
What are the Symptoms of Colon Cancer?
The symptoms of colorectal cancer can vary from person to person. Some common symptoms include:
– Blood in the stool: One of the most common symptoms of CRC is blood in the stool. This can be a sign that the cancer is growing and spreading.
– Changes in bowel habits, such as diarrhea or constipation
– Cramping or abdominal pain: Cramping or abdominal pain is one of the most common symptoms of colon cancer. This pain can vary from person to person, but it often occurs in the lower part of the abdomen.
– Weight loss: Weight loss is a common symptom of colorectal cancer. There are many possible causes of weight loss, and CRC is just one. However, it is essential to rule out colon cancer as a likely cause, especially if you are over 50.
– Weakness or fatigue: Weakness and fatigue are common symptoms of colorectal cancer. There are many possible causes of weakness and fatigue, and CRC is just one.
How is Colon Cancer Treated?
When colorectal cancer is diagnosed, the treatment options will vary depending on the cancer stage. Treatment may include surgery, radiation therapy, or chemotherapy. Some people may also require hormone therapy or targeted therapy.
It is important to remember that CRC can be treated, and many people with colon cancer can live long, healthy lives. If you are concerned about your risk of colorectal cancer, talk to your doctor about getting screened.
Can you Reduce your Risk of Colon Cancer?
You can do several things to reduce your risk of CRC. Some of the most effective steps include:
– Eating a healthy diet high in fruits and vegetables
– Exercising regularly
– Maintaining a healthy weight
– Avoiding tobacco smoke
– Limiting alcohol consumption
– Getting screened regularly for colon
It is essential to know the causes of colon cancer to seek treatment and prevent the disease from spreading. While there are many potential causes, some are more common than others. By understanding these causes, you can take steps to protect yourself from developing colorectal cancer. If you have any concerns or think you may be at risk for CRC, please consult your doctor.