What is Colorectal Cancer?
Colorectal cancer is cancer that occurs in the colon or rectum. Sometimes it is called colon cancer. The colon is the large intestine or large bowel. The rectum is the passageway that connects the colon to the anus.
It's the Second Leading Cancer Killer
Colorectal cancer is the second leading cancer killer in the United States, but it doesn’t have to be. If everyone aged 50 years or older had regular screening tests, at least 60% of deaths from this cancer could be avoided. So if you are 50 or older, start getting screened now.
Are You at Risk?
Both men and women can get it.
Colon cancer affects individuals equally, regardless of gender.
It is most often found in people 50 or older.
If you have a family history of colon cancer.
African Americans have a slightly higher risk of colon cancer.
COLON CANCER Q & A
What is Colon Cancer?
Colon cancer occurs when healthy cells in the colon develop errors in their DNA. When a cell’s DNA is damaged and becomes cancerous, cells continue to divide — even when new cells aren’t needed. As the cells continue to gather, they form a tumor. With time, the cancer cells can grow to invade and destroy normal tissue nearby and can possibly spread to other parts of the body.
When Should I Start Colon Cancer Screenings?
If you’re over the age of 50, have a family history of colon cancer, or if you have suspicious symptoms that concern you, you should schedule an appointment with Dr. Atif Shahzad for a colon cancer screening. Items to watch for which could indicate cancer include:
- Blood in the stool
- Unexplained anemia
- Unexplained stomach pain
- Narrower than normal stool
- Unusual changes in bowel patterns
What Are My Options For Colon Cancer Screening
Depending on the person’s age and family medical history, there are many screening procedures. If screening tests are recommended, they can include a barium enema, a stool testing, or a colonoscopy. Colonoscopy is currently the best test to diagnose and treat colon cancer. Schedule your colonoscopy today with Dr. Shahzad
I Have No Symptoms. Should I Still be Screened?
Colorectal cancer is the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths in America for men. More and more cancers can be treated and cured when they are caught early on. Fortunately, most colorectal cancers are preventable with proper cancer screenings. Proper screenings are a crucial part of cancer prevention. Screenings ensure that early detection allows for the removal of precancerous polyps. Getting regular checkups and colon cancer screenings is the best way to find cancer early, making a cure more likely.