We Are Committed To Providing Comprehensive Care
Top Gastroenterology Services in South Texas
What is Colon Cancer? Colon cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer, yet many people are uncomfortable talking about it. Colon cancer begins as a growth on the lining of the colon or rectum. This growth is called a polyp. Over time, some polyps may develop into cancer.
Colon cancer can occur in anyone and does not discriminate. However, studies have shown that those who fall into the following categories are at a greater risk of developing the disease:
- Individuals with a family history of colon polyps or cancer
- Those with a personal history of colon polyps or cancer
- People over the age of 50
- Those with ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease
- Individuals with the genetic conditions Hereditary Nonpolyposis Colon Cancer (HNPCC) or Familial Adenomatous Polyposis (FAP)
- Certain ethnic groups including African-Americans, Native Americans, Alaskan Natives and Jews of Eastern European descent (Ashkenazi Jews)
- Colorectal cancer is the #2 leading cause of cancer deaths among men and women in the U.S. combined.
- 1 in 3 adults aged 50-75 are NOT up-to-date with recommended colorectal cancer screening.
- One in 20 Americans will be diagnosed with colon cancer during their lifetime.
- Over 60% of deaths from colorectal cancer could be avoided with screening.
- Colon cancer incidence rates have dropped 30% in the U.S. in the last 10 years among adults ages 50 and older due to the widespread uptake of colonoscopy.
- There are more than 1 million survivors of colorectal cancer in the United States.
- In January of 2013, the American Cancer Society reported a 30% decrease in the mortality rate for colorectal cancer. The likelihood of dying from colorectal cancer has been decreasing due to screening.
- When detected early, colon cancer is over 90% curable.
- Texas’ colorectal cancer screening rate is only 60%, and the state currently sits at number 41 in the nation for the number of people screened. Texans can, and must, do better than this.
- Colon cancer affects men and women equally.
- Colon cancer is on the rise in young adults – know the signs and symptoms and take them seriously.
Oftentimes, symptoms do not appear in the early stages of the disease. Do not wait for these symptoms before talking to your doctor about screening.
- A change in bowel habits, including diarrhea, constipation or a change in stool
- Rectal bleeding, or finding blood in your stool
- Persistent abdominal discomfort, such as cramps, gas, pain or feeling full or bloated
- Nausea or vomiting
- Unexplained weight loss
- Chronic fatigue
What You Can Do
- Get screened for colon cancer beginning at age 50, or sooner if you are at higher risk
- Maintain a healthy weight throughout life
- Adopt a physically active lifestyle
- Eat a healthy diet
- Don’t use tobacco products
- Limit alcohol intake