What is Colorectal Cancer?
Colorectal cancer develops in the colon or the rectum .The colon and rectum are parts of the digestive system, also called the gastrointestinal, or GI, system. The digestive system processes food for energy and rids the body of solid waste (fecal matter or stool).
Colorectal cancer is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer and the third leading cause of cancer death in both men and women. About 72% of cases arise in the colon and about 28% in the rectum.
Who Gets Colorectal Cancer?
Anyone can get colorectal cancer. The lifetime risk of being diagnosed with cancer of the colon or rectum is about 5% for both men and women.
Are You at High Risk?
Incidence and death rates for colorectal cancer increase with age. The incidence rate of colorectal cancer is more than 15 times higher in adults 50 years and older than in those 20 to 49 years.
Colorectal cancer incidence and mortality rates are about 35% to 40% higher in men than in women.
- Family history:
- First-degree or More than 1 relative.
- Relative with diagnosis before age 45.
- Inflammatory bowel disease.
- Crohns disease (colon)
- Ulcerative colitis (colon or rectum)
- Personal history of colorectal polyps
- Alcohol consumption
What are the symptoms of colorectal cancer?
See your doctor if you have any of these warning signs:
- Bleeding from the rectum
- Blood in the stool or in the toilet after having a bowel movement
- Dark- or black-colored stools
- A change in the shape of the stool
- Cramping pain in the lower stomach
- A feeling of discomfort or an urge to have a bowel movement when there is no need to have one
- New onset of constipation or diarrhea that lasts for more than a few days
- Unintentional weight loss
How is colorectal cancer detected?
- High-Sensitivity FOBT (Stool Test): Where the stool samples are checked for the presence of blood ( Once a year ).
- Flexible Sigmoidoscopy ( Every 5 years)
- Colonoscopy ( Every 10 years ).
Make lifestyle changes
You can reduce your risk of developing colorectal cancer by adapting healthy lifestyle: maintaining a healthy weight, being physically active at least 30 minutes per day, eating a healthy diet, not smoking, and not drinking alcohol.