Last year, more Arizonans died from colon cancer than car crashes.
No butts about it, the numbers are staggering. Colon cancer is the number 2 cancer killer in this country—only second to lung cancer.
Here’s the good news: colon cancer is unique because it is one of the few cancers you can do something about. In fact, it’s almost entirely preventable with timely screening.
The key here is timing; knowing your family’s health history and knowing your body. National guidelines state all people should be screened by age 50, and many who are high risk—including those with a family history of cancer or polyps, certain genetic conditions and ethnicities like African Americans—should be checked earlier. Some common symptoms such as:
A change in bowel habits
Including diarrhea, constipation, a change in the consistency of your stool or finding your stools are narrower than usual
Persistent abdominal discomfort .
Such as cramps, gas, or pain and/or feeling full, bloated or that your bowel does not empty completely.
Finding blood (either bright red or very dark) in your stool
Weakness or fatigue
Can also accompany losing weight for no known reason, nausea or vomiting.
Sudden Weight Loss
An immediate and dramatic decrease in weight can be caused by a variety of cancers, one of them being colon cancer. “Unexplained weight loss” is generally described as an unintentional loss of 5% of your body weight within six months.
Most of these problems are more often caused by conditions other than colorectal cancer, such as infection, hemorrhoids, or irritable bowel syndrome. Still, if you have any of these problems, it’s important to see your doctor right away so the cause can be found and treated if needed.
Colon cancer is up to 90 percent beatable when found early!