March is Colon Cancer Awareness Month

Posted by GO Medical on

Colon cancer is the second deadliest cancer in the U.S. One in 24 will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer in their lifetime but it's relatively easy to detect with screening. Colon and rectal cancers are also highly treatable if caught early. Colon cancer screening is recommended for ages over 45 and the procedure is covered by many insurances.

Colorectal cancer first develops with few, if any, symptoms. It's vital to talk to a doctor if symptoms do appear. These may include:

    • A change in bowel habits: Including diarrhea, constipation, a change in the consistency of your stool or finding your stools are narrower than usual
    • Persistent abdominal discomfort: Such as cramps, gas, or pain and/or feeling full, bloated or that your bowel does not empty completely
    • Rectal bleeding: Finding blood (either bright red or very dark) in your stool
    • Weakness or fatigue: Can also accompany losing weight for no known reason, nausea or vomiting

        Colorectal cancer symptoms can also be associated with many other health conditions. Only a medical professional can determine the cause of your symptoms. Early signs of cancer often do not include pain. It is important not to wait before seeing a doctor. Early detection can save your life.

        Beyond screening there are many things we can do to assist with a healthy colon

        Tips for a healthy colon:

          • Eat fiber (fruits and vegetables)
          • Drink plenty of water
          • Take in whole grains
          • Drink low-fat or fat-free milk
          • Eat lean proteins (chicken, turkey) instead of processed meats (hot dogs, lunch meat)
          • Reduce excess sugar and fried foods
          • Limit alcohol intake
          • Maintain a healthy weight
          • Don’t smoke
          • Exercise regularly
          • Monitor bathroom habits for any changes

        Courtesy of the colorectal cancer alliance

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