Take a few moments to consider the following questions and see if you know some of the most important aspects of colon cancer.
Most colorectal cancers begin as a growth on the inner lining of the colon called a:
Answer: Polyp. Growths in the lining of the colon or rectum are called polyps. Not all polyps become cancerous. Adenomatous polyps (adenomas) and sessile serrated polyps are the most likely to become cancerous. Most polyps have no symptoms and are detected with screening tests. Symptoms of colon cancer may include bloody stool, rectal bleeding, fatigue and unintended weight loss, among others. We develop an individual treatment plan for each patient.
Certain colon cancer risk factors such as genetics or age cannot be controlled. Which of the following risk factors can be managed?
- Environmental risk
- Developing an inflammatory bowel disease
- Healthy weight, diet and limiting tobacco and alcohol
- Risk factors cannot be changed
Answer: Healthy weight, diet and limiting tobacco and alcohol. Colon cancer risk factors such as gender, age or genetics cannot be changed. Yet risk factors such as maintaining a healthy weight, a balanced diet and eliminating tobacco and heavy alcohol use are important lifestyle changes for preventing colon cancer. We can help with cancer prevention.
The number of people diagnosed with colon or rectal cancer every year has continued to drop. This is because:
- Colorectal cancer is naturally less common
- Fewer people go to their doctor
- More people receive colon cancer screenings
- Less use of alcohol and tobacco
Answer: More people recieve colon cancer screenings. More people get screened for colorectal cancer every year. This has decreased the instances of colorectal cancer since the mid-1980s. From 2013-2017, colorectal cancer diagnoses have dropped by about 1% each year. Comprehensive cancer care is available to our patients.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends screening for colon cancer for the following people:
- After the age of 45
- A close relative has had colorectal cancer or cancerous polyps
- You have inflammatory bowel disease, Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis
- All of the above
Answer: All of the above. The CDC recommends regular colon cancer screenings for individuals over the age of 45 regardless of family or medical history. Having a close family member or bowel condition increases the risk of developing colorectal cancer. Screenings are especially important for those at higher risk. Cancer screenings are available for our patients.