Catching Colorectal Cancer Early
Colorectal cancer typically affects people over 50 years or older, but can appear before old age due. Several risk factors, ranging from genetic factors to lifestyle habits that can worsen digestive symptoms, impact a person’s risk. While the cause of colorectal cancer is unknown, doctors can detect cell mutation and cancer growth in the colon with early colorectal screenings. Understanding the risk factors for colorectal cancer can keep people cancer-free in the long-run.
Inherited disorders such as familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) or hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer, or Lynch syndrome, are two of the most common inherited disorders that can increase the risk of colorectal cancer. Other rare symptoms can also increase cancer risk. A person with a family history of colorectal cancer is at increased risk.
People who have a history of colorectal cancer, polyps, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), obesity, and type 2 diabetes are at higher risk of getting colorectal cancer. Chronic IBD, for example, can often create abnormal cells in the lining of the colon that can turn into cancer over time.
An unhealthy lifestyle full of junk food, inactivity, alcohol use, and smoking creates the perfect storm for a colorectal cancer diagnosis. A diet high in red meats and processed meats, as well as cooking the meats at high temperatures can affect colorectal cancer risk. Lifestyle choices are strongly linked to cancer but can be changed easily over time.
Preventing colorectal cancer
One of the easiest ways to prevent colorectal cancer is for patients to get screened early starting at age 50. A colonoscopy is a medical procedure that uses a thin and long colonoscope with a camera attached at the end to identify any precancerous polyps in the colon or rectum. Polyps can develop years before any colorectal cancer symptoms begin.
Screening tests for colorectal cancer
A colonoscopy is just one of many screening tests that can detect the presence of cancerous growths. Doctors may also use blood tests, stool samples, x-rays, and CT scans to look for other markers of colorectal cancer. Patients should consult with a doctor to find the best screening test and treatment of colorectal cancer.