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You have plans for the future and people who need you. Don’t let cancer get in the way. Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer in the United States, but it can be prevented. The earlier you take action, the simpler and more effective treatment will be.
What is Colorectal Cancer?
Colorectal cancer, or colon cancer, occurs when cells in the colon or rectum grow out of control. It can also be caused by abnormal growths called polyps, which can turn into cancer if they aren’t removed quickly.
The symptoms of colon cancer often don’t appear at all until it has already grown or spread. (This is why early detection is so important.) These symptoms include changes in bowel habits, bloody stool, or stool that looks narrow or stringy. People may also feel constipated or extra gassy. These symptoms may be accompanied by abdominal pain, fatigue, or unexplained weight loss.
What sounds so gross is your body’s way of telling you that something is wrong. Find out what and reduce your symptoms with early screening and detection.
Preventing Colorectal Cancer
The CDC recommends that adults 45 and older get screened every three to five years. People with additional risk factors—an inflammatory bowel disease, a personal or family history of cancer or polyps—should screen earlier and more often. A colorectal cancer screening most often means collecting a stool sample to be analyzed by a lab. In some cases, a doctor uses a tube in what’s called a colonoscopy to look for and remove polyps before they become cancer.
There are things you can do to lower your risk of colorectal cancer:
- Eat a diet that’s high in fiber and fruits and vegetables while low in fat and processed meats.
- Keep a healthy weight and enjoy regular physical activity.
- Keep your drinking of alcohol low and don’t use tobacco.
If you or someone you care about develops colorectal cancer, there are options that can help!
Treatment for Colorectal Cancer
If cancer is found, there are ways to treat it before it gets too serious. Surgery can be used to remove the cancer from the body. Doctors also use radiation therapy or chemotherapy to kill cancerous cells. The survival rate of colorectal cancer has risen in recent decades to 91%. Doctors believe this rate is the result of more people getting screenings earlier and more regularly.
Our SFCHC providers can advise you on your next colorectal cancer screening and which type of screening is right for you. We accept several insurance plans, and for those without insurance, we offer a sliding fee scale based on household size and income. SFCHC is here to help you live a healthier and cancer-free life.