January

Buchanan Health News

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Colorectal cancer is the third leading cause of cancer in Americans. Unfortunately, most colorectal cancers are silent tumors. They grow slowly and often do not produce symptoms until they reach a large size. Colorectal cancer is preventable, and curable, if detected early while the tumor is still localized and has not spread.


Screenings should begin at age 50, unless you are at high risk, then you should speak with your doctor about what is the best time for you to start your screenings.

Who is at risk?

Everyone is at risk and should be screened when appropriate.

*A personal or family history of colorectal cancer or polyps.

*A diet high in red meats and processed meats.

*Inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis)

*Obesity

*Smoking

*Physical inactivity

*Heavy alcohol use

*Type 2 diabetes

*Women are at higher risk of colon cancer, while men are prone to develop rectal cancer.

*Diet high in fat and cholesterol and low in fiber.

*Highest Incidence of colorectal cancer is in African American men and women.

What are the symptoms?

*Persistent change in bowel habits (constipation or diarrhea)

*Blood on or in the stool

*Abdominal discomfort

*Unexplained weight loss

*Anemia

*Fatigue

*Loss of appetite

*Pelvic Pain, which occurs at later stages of the disease

How Can I Help Prevent Colorectal Cancer?

Living a healthy lifestyle that includes no smoking, regular exercise, healthy weight, diet low in red meat and processed meats and high in vegetables and fruit is a good start. Fiber is thought to be a powerful weapon against colon cancer. Eating lots of foods that contain phytochemicals such as tomatoes, citrus fruits, berries, peppers, carrots, broccoli, cabbage, and soy beans. Choosing most of the foods you eat from plant sources. Limit your intake of high fat foods, particularly from animal sources, and lower your alcohol consumption.