March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. Colorectal cancer occurs in the colon or rectum and is the third most common cancer in the United States. This type of cancer affects women and men, most commonly over the age of 50. The strongest risk factors linked to colorectal cancer are based on lifestyle choices such as diet and exercise.
Check out the most common risk factors and symptoms for colorectal cancer:
- Family history of colorectal cancer or polyps
- Personal history of inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn’s or ulcerative colitis
- Heavy alcohol use
- Diets high in red meats such as pork, lamb or beef and processed meats like luncheon meat and hot dogs
- Diets low in fiber and high in fats
- Physical inactivity
Symptoms and Signs of Colorectal Cancer
- Rectal bleeding or blood in your stool
- Persistent changes in bowel behavior such as changes in stool consistency, diarrhea, and constipation
- Chronic abdominal discomfort like gas or cramping
- Unexplained weight loss
- Weakness and fatigue
When discovered early, colorectal cancer is highly treatable. Colorectal cancers typically develop as polyps, which are abnormal growths inside the colon. The polyps may become cancerous if not removed. There are several ways to screen for colorectal cancer, the most popular being a colonoscopy. However, screening techniques may vary depending on the person. The colorectal cancer awareness website is a valuable resource for information on screening, care, and cures.
Colorectal cancer is known as the silent killer because the early signs of cancer often don’t include pain, which is why it’s essential to get screened. Schedule a free 10-minute consultation here with one of our naturopathic doctors or call us at 480-588-6856 to discuss your risks of developing colorectal cancer and ways to prevent the disease.