Newschannel Six has teamed up with Texas Oncology to bring you "EYE ON HEALTH." This is an on-going series dedicated to raising the awareness of different types of cancers, and what you can do to lower your risks.
How common is colorectal cancer in the U.S. and Texas?
o Colorectal cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer death in the U.S., after lung cancer, for men and women combined.
o In Texas in 2016, we expect to see 9,680 new cases and 3,520 deaths from colorectal cancer.
o In Wichita County in 2015, we expected to see 36 new cases of colorectal cancer and 18 expected deaths.
What can people do to prevent or reduce their risk of colorectal cancer?
o Early detection is key, because early-stage cancers are more treatable and have the most treatment options for fighting them.
o In the early stages, colorectal cancer shows no symptoms.
o This makes cancer screenings and practicing healthy habits critical to preventing and reducing your risk of colorectal cancer.
o In general, we recommend that people:
Receive cancer screenings as directed by their doctor. Regular screenings and appropriate treatment in those 50-plus could prevent six in ten colorectal cancer deaths.
Live a healthy lifestyle by maintaining a healthy weight; eating a healthy, balanced diet; and exercising regularly.
A healthy diet includes lots of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins.
Limit intake of red meat, processed meat, and alcohol.
We recommend men have no more than two alcoholic drinks per day, and women have no more than one alcoholic drink per day.
Finally, use aspirin and other related drugs in moderation.
Even though most people show no symptoms of colorectal cancer in the early stages, what symptoms should people look for?
o Abnormal bowel habits
o Constipation, cramping, or stomach discomfort
o Bleeding from the rectum
o Blood in the stool
o Fatigue or weakness
o Unexplained weight loss
o Feeling like the bowel doesn't completely empty
What are the risk factors of colorectal cancer?
o People age 50 and over are at a higher risk.
o A family history of colorectal cancer or polyps may put people at a greater risk.
o Diets heavy in red and processed meats may increase their risk.
o Overweight and sedentary people and those with Type II diabetes are at a higher risk.
o Those with a history of polyps and inflammatory bowel disease are also at an increased risk.