What Is Colon Cancer:
The second leading cause of death in the United States. 90% beatable when caught early.
Risk factors for colorectal cancer include a family history of colorectal cancer, colon polyps. Most colorectal cancers develop from polyps. Removal of colon polyps can prevent colorectal cancer. Colon polyps and early cancer may have no symptoms. Therefore regular screenings are important. A large percentage of deaths from colon cancer occur in people 50 or older. Colon Cancer doesn’t discriminate and can happen at any age.
African American are diagnosed younger than other populations; 45% more likely than other groups to die from colon cancer. Begin their screenings at 45 years old.
There are many tests for colon cancer: Guaiac-based fecal occult blood test (gFOBT), Fecal immunochemical test (FIT) and Stool DNA test (sDNA test)
Get tested, you have the power to help stop colon cancer before it starts. Colon Cancer begins with a growth (a polyp) that’s not yet cancer. Testing can help your doctor tell whether there’s a problem, and some tests can find polyps before they become cancer. Most people who have polyps removed never get colon cancer. If colon cancer is found, you have a good chance of beating it with treatment if it’s found early. And testing can help find it early.
Although the signs of cancer may vary, most of the time the symptoms are silent.
- A change in the stool or in the toilet (bright red or very dark)
- A change in shape of stool (more narrow than usual)
- Cramping or discomfort in the lower abdomen, frequent gas pains, bloating, fullness
- Constipation or diarrhea that last for more than a few days
- Loss of appetite
- Unknown weight loss