Key Things Everyone Should Know About Colon Cancer

Health & Medical Blog

Colon cancer is a condition that everyone hopes they never develop but sadly does kill people every year. You may not want to think about this sad topic, and that's understandable.

However, it is important for everyone to know the basics about colon cancer so they can protect themselves and act swiftly if symptoms develop.

Here are the key things everyone should know about this disease.

It can affect both men and women 

Colon cancer is more common in men than in women. However, this does not mean that women cannot develop this cancer. The risk is actually only slightly less in women than in men. According to the American Cancer Society, women have a 1 in 25 risk of developing colon cancer in their lifetime, and men have a 1 in 23 risk. So, you should be vigilant in watching for this disease regardless of your sex. If a friend or family member tells you that they are not worried about colon cancer because they are female, you may want to gently point them toward these statistics.

It is very treatable in its early stages

You may have known someone who died from colon cancer, or who needed invasive treatment like colon removal surgery. Colon cancer can be deadly, and the treatments for late-stage colon cancer do tend to be quite invasive. However, early-stage colon cancer is very treatable. This is why screening is so important. If your doctor discovers stage 1 colon cancer during screening, they can often simply snip off the polyp, give you a round or two of radiation or chemotherapy, and send you on your way. It's a late diagnosis that really makes things challenging.

The early symptoms are easy to ignore

Why is colon cancer so often diagnosed late? It's not because it does not cause early symptoms, but rather because people tend to ignore those early symptoms. Stomach aches, traces of blood in the stool, thin stools, and pain during defecation can all indicate colon cancer. If you have these symptoms, don't just assume they are innocuous. Get checked out by your doctor because if you do have colon cancer, this is the best time to diagnose it.

Knowing the key information above should make it easier for you to manage your risk of colon cancer and seek early treatment if needed.

Talk to your doctor if you have additional questions or concerns.


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