According to the American Cancer Society, more than 150,000 new cases of colorectal cancer will be diagnosed this year. While colorectal cancer has been thought to be an older person’s disease, it is now being diagnosed more and more within the younger generation.
During National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month this March, our team at AFC Urgent Care Ladera Ranch wants to share some insight about the condition, including who’s at highest risk and ways you can prevent it.
Who Is at Risk for Colorectal Cancer?
Anyone can be diagnosed with colorectal cancer, as both men and women have equal risk for the disease. However, there are certain risk factors that can increase a person’s chances of developing colorectal cancer during their lifetime.
While some of the risk factors cannot be controlled, such as your family medical history, many other risk factors can be changed or eliminated with healthy lifestyle habits.
Risk Factors for Colorectal Cancer
- Advanced age
- African American race
- Personal history of colorectal cancer or polyps
- Personal history of inflammatory intestinal conditions
- Certain inherited syndromes
- Family history of colorectal cancer
- Low-fiber, high-fat diet
- Sedentary lifestyle
What Can I Do to Prevent Colorectal Cancer?
The single best thing you can do is to have regular preventive screenings. Talk with a physician about when you should begin having colorectal cancer screenings and how often you should be screened based on your risk factors.
During a colonoscopy, pre-cancerous lesions can be found and removed before they develop into cancer. In addition to getting a colonoscopy, living a healthy lifestyle can also help you to lower your risk of colon cancer, so eat a diet filled with fruits and vegetables, limit your alcohol consumption, don’t smoke, exercise regularly, and maintain a healthy weight.
Signs of Colorectal Cancer
- Change in bowel habits, like having diarrhea, constipation or change in consistency of the stop
- Blood in your stool and/or rectal bleeding
- Abdominal discomfort like gas and/or cramps
- Feeling like you still need to go or that your bowel hasn’t emptied completely
Are you experiencing stomach issues? Stop by AFC Urgent Care Ladera Ranch today! No appointment is necessary!