It is estimated that 145,600
adults in the United States are diagnosed with colorectal cancer, and 51,020 deaths are attributed to the disease, every single year. March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month and, therefore, the perfect opportunity to educate yourself and your elderly relatives about the condition. Here are the facts.
What Is Colorectal Cancer?
Colorectal cancer refers to cancer of the colon and/or the rectum. It is often caused when polyps, which are stem-like growths inside of the colon and rectum, become cancerous. However, you do not need to have polyps in order to get colorectal cancer. It can also be caused when normal cells along the lining of the rectum and colon mutate and form a cancerous tumor.
Who Is Most at Risk?
Colorectal cancer is the third
most commonly diagnosed type of cancer in the world, and literally anyone
can get it. Having said that, there are various factors that determine an individual’s personal risk factor. For instance, you are at a far greater risk of developing this type of cancer if it runs in your family. African Americans also tend to have a higher risk, and it is diagnosed in more men than women. Your diet is also thought to have a sizable effect on your risk factor. Diets that include lots of red meat and processed foods are believed to play a significant role in the development of colorectal cancer. Finally, you are also more likely to develop it after the age of 45
What Are the Symptoms of Colorectal Cancer?
There are often few symptoms associated with colorectal cancer in the early stages of the disease. As the disease progresses, more and more symptoms will start to become evident. It is important to watch out for blood in the stool, a constant need to use the rest room, thin stools, abdominal pain, and weight loss.
Remember to seek help from a doctor if you or a loved one experiences any of these signs.
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