Your colon, or the large intestine, is an organ which helps your body extract water and salt from the solid waste that passes through.
Unfortunately, when tumorous growths begin to form, cancer emerges. In fact, colorectal cancer is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer in the United States apart from skin cancers, according to the American Cancer Society.
What Are the Symptoms of Colon Cancer
Although colon cancer rarely shows symptoms in its earliest stages, the latter can emerge as the disease advances. The most typical symptoms include:
- Inconsistent bowel habits, such as on-and-off constipation and diarrhea or stool type
- Consistent abdominal pain, including gas and cramps
- Inability to fully empty the bowel
- Fatigue and weakness
- Weight loss
What Are the Causes of Colon Cancer?
Like most cancers, colon cancer forms when the cells in your colon start to grow and divide without following the orderly process. This deviation from the natural timeline occurs when the DNA inside the cells begin to change. It affects two types of genes called oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes, which work together to regulate cell division and death. From this mutation, colon cancer takes place.
Is There Prevention and Treatment for Colon Cancer?
There are several actions you can take to reduce your risk of colon cancer, including:
- Limiting alcohol consumption at most, to 1-2 drinks a day
- Quit smoking
- Getting at least 30 minutes of exercise a day
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Eating a good amount of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains
If you begin to notice any symptoms of colon cancer, a healthcare professional can examine the type and stage. Then, they can take in other factors such as your health history and preferences when narrowing down on the right treatment option for you. The options often include surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy. All come with their own benefits and drawbacks but have the same purpose – to stop the spread of the cancer, remove it altogether, and limit the symptoms experienced.
At around the ages of 45-47, healthcare professionals recommend that you get regular screenings for colorectal cancer. Those who have increased risk or have a family history of colon cancer should consider screening from an earlier age.
No matter what bucket you fall under, you can quickly get screened and obtain fast results at AG Urgent Care. At any one of our centers, our healthcare professionals are able to holistically examine your health and determine the best treatment option moving forward. They can also factor in your health history and recommend preventative measures to reduce your risk of colon cancer. If you’re ready to fight against colon cancer and push past the symptoms, we welcome you to to check in online to one of our centers in Brooklyn and Queens to learn more about colon cancer and get tested for it today.