Five Important Things to Know About Colon and Rectal Cancer

Summary: March is designated as Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. Learn five key facts about this deadly but very treatable and preventable illness.

Making up the longest section of the large bowel, the colon plays a necessary role in digestion and your overall health. As food passes through the colon, the last lingering nutrients and water are absorbed, and the waste is then expelled from the body by way of the rectum. Cancer that emerges in the colon or rectum is often classified together as colorectal cancer.

The American Cancer Society calculates that roughly 150,000 original cases of colon and rectal cancer are observed each year. Thankfully, colon and rectal cancer is easily discoverable by a colonoscopy and, when discovered early on, the probability of overcoming it is extremely high. To discover a colonoscopy specialist near you and book a colorectal cancer exam, please contact Hinsdale Gastroenterology Associates.

March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, and our Hinsdale, IL gastrointestinal specialists aim to deliver the key things you need to recognize about colorectal cancer to help keep you and your family well. Keep reading to find out five crucial facts about colorectal cancer.

#1: Colorectal cancer is the second most reason for cancer deaths.

Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths among women and men together. The American Cancer Society estimates that about 52,000 men and women will die from colorectal cancer this year. Thanks in part to regular colorectal cancer screenings and colon cancer awareness nationwide, colon and rectal cancer deaths are decreasing. Regrettably, it is estimated that around one-third of American adults are not current on their standard colonoscopy tests.

#2: Colon and rectal cancer affects men and women evenly.

The American Cancer Society calculates that around 1 in 23 men and 1 in 25 women will develop colorectal cancer at some point in the course of their life. Therefore, gender is not a colon and rectal cancer element of risk; men and women have around an equal risk of being diagnosed with the disease. The colorectal cancer risk factors are:

  • Obesity
  • Excessive alcohol intake
  • Having a family history of colon or rectal cancer
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Being 45 or older
  • Smoking

#3: There might be no indicators of colon or rectal cancer.

According to the Colon Cancer Coalition, six out of every 10 men and women identified with colon cancer are diagnosed with advanced disease, most likely because they did not seek a test until there were signals of a threat. Men and women in the early phases of colorectal cancer might display no symptoms of the disease, and when colon cancer does present indicators, it is frequently highly progressed. Signs and symptoms of colon and rectal cancer may include:

  • Rectal bleeding
  • A change in bathroom habits, like long-term diarrhea or frequent constipation
  • Abdominal pain or discomfort
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Tiredness

If you or a loved one is encountering these serious colon and rectal cancer indicators, get in touch with a GI specialist in Hinsdale, IL and schedule a colonoscopy as soon as feasible. You can connect with a community GI doctor by contacting Hinsdale Gastroenterology Associates.

#4: When identified ahead of time, colorectal cancer is highly treatable.

Colon and rectal polyps can take around 10 – 15 years to progress into cancer. Pre-malignant growths can be removed before they begin to develop into a problem, which makes colon cancer highly preventable compared with different cancers. Patients who are identified with early, localized colon and rectal cancer have a remarkably better survival rate than women and men whose colon or rectal cancer has metastasized. The five-year odds of survival for limited colon cancer are near 90%. When found late, the five-year survival rate drops to under 10%. Please do not wait for signs or symptoms to be examined.

#5: You should begin routine colorectal cancer exams by 45 years of age.

If you are at normal risk for colon cancer, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force encourages you to obtain your first colonoscopy around 45 years old and then once every decade if no irregularities are discovered. Men and women with a higher chance of developing colon cancer should receive periodic colonoscopies once every 3 – 5 years or as recommended by a gastroenterologist. Several home-screening alternatives for colon and rectal cancer screening have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration, but the colonoscopy is still the preferred standard for the identification and avoidance of colon and rectal cancer.

Visit a gastroenterologist in Hinsdale, IL

If you are behind on your routine colon and rectal cancer exams, please reach out to Hinsdale Gastroenterology Associates today. We can put you in touch with a local GI specialist who will prioritize your treatment and concerns. Individuals facing colon cancer and other digestive health issues can put their faith in our physician-led system of GI physicians in Hinsdale, IL. If you would like to learn more about the fight against colorectal cancer and or schedule an appointment for a colonoscopy, get in touch with Hinsdale Gastroenterology Associates today.