Gastro Care

What You Need to Know About Colorectal Cancer

Posted by on Jun 20, 2018 in Gastro Care | 0 comments

This past March was Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, as this article describes. I did not know much about this type of cancer, so as someone with interest in healthcare, I decided to do a little research on colorectal cancer in honor of the awareness month.

According to the American Cancer Society, colorectal cancer is cancer that starts in the colon or rectum. Colorectal cancer is an umbrella term that covers colon cancer and rectum cancer. If cancer starts in the colon, it is called colon cancer, and the same is true for the rectum and rectum cancer. Like all types of cancer, colorectal cancer starts when cells in the body grow out of control.

Colorectal cancer is the third most common type of cancer in the United States, excluding skin cancer. It is estimated that in 2018, there will be about 100,000 new cases of colon cancer, and about 45,000 new cases of rectal cancer. Also in 2018, it is estimated that colorectal cancer will cause about 50,000 deaths. For men, the lifetime risk of developing colorectal cancer is about 1/22, which is marginally higher than the risk for women. This type of cancer is correlated with age, other colon problems, family history of the disease, and Type-2 diabetes.

However, even though colorectal cancer is so deadly and common, there continue to be positive developments in treatment. These developments are largely encouraged by educational and informative events, much like Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, as described in the article. This same article explains that colorectal cancer is highly treatable if detected early. This is because if caught early, it is likely that the cancer has spread to other regions in the body.

Colorectal cancer can be detected through several screening procedures, including colonoscopies, virtual colonoscopies, stool DNA tests, and sigmoidoscopies. The point is, if colorectal cancer is found early through one of the above screening procedures, the chances of effective treatment are significantly increased. The article recommends undertaking frequent screening procedures.

In addition to the screening procedures, having a healthy lifestyle reduces your risk of getting colorectal cancer. The article recommends maintaining a healthy weight and being physically active. It also suggests refraining from smoking or drinking too much alcohol.

Because of events like Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, the research and scientific understanding of this devastating type of cancer continues to improve. Scientific studies are looking at ways to prevent, detect, and treat colorectal cancer. In fact, it is estimated that there are over 1 million colorectal cancer survivors in the United States alone. Additionally, the article explained that about nine in every ten people who discover and treat colorectal cancer in its early stages are still alive five years later. These statistics and the advancements in research and technology are very encouraging for a type of cancer that is so common and so severe.

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