At Amazing Over 40, one of our paramount goals is to provide you with the most up-to-date and relevant information for you and your family – to live the best lives at 40, 50, 60 and beyond!
In recognition of this month’s health awareness theme, this blog will help you understand the magnitude of colorectal cancer, symptoms and the “gold standard” diagnosis for detecting colorectal cancer.
Colorectal Cancer is as real as it gets. Excluding skin cancers, colorectal cancer is the third most diagnosed cancer among white men and women in the US today. For women, the leading diagnosed cancer is breast cancer, followed by lung cancer. For men, prostate cancer is the most diagnosed type of cancer followed by lung cancer.
Remember, when we are talking about causes of mortality, cardio-vascular disease is the number one killer in both men and women.
Here are some startling statistics:
For 2020, the American Cancer Society estimates the number of colorectal cancer cases in the US to be:
Over 145,000 people will be diagnosed
Expected number of deaths due to colorectal cancer – 51,000
The lifetime risk of developing colorectal cancer is 1 in 21 (4.7%) for men, 1 in 23 (4.4%) for women
What are the symptoms of colon cancer?
Many of the following symptoms for colon cancer can be seen with other conditions that are benign and not cancerous. These include infection (diverticulitis), hemorrhoids, irritable bowel syndrome or inflammatory bowel disease.
A change in bowel movements (diarrhea, constipation, narrowing of the stool) that last for more than 2-3 days.
A feeling like you haven’t really emptied your bowels completely after having a bowel movement.
Dark, tarry stools or blood in the stool.
Cramping or belly pain.
Fatigue and weakness.
Loss of weight even with trying to eat normally.
If you or anyone you know is experiencing these symptoms, most likely it won’t be cancer. Yet to be safe, it is always best to have a consultation with your physician or a gastroenterologist (a doctor who specializes in the health of your intestinal tract). A screening test, like a colonoscopy, might be ordered for you.
Please read next week’s blog to find out tips to help prevent colorectal cancer for you and your family.