A colon cancer diagnosis comes with a lot of questions for the patient and loved ones. Learning about the disease can make it feel more manageable. There's a lot to learn, though, through your healing journey. Ease into the complex medical knowledge with an easy-to-understand overview of the disease. Start with these six intestine facts about colorectal cancer.
1. 50,000 People Die From Colon Cancer Every Year
With 50,000 Americans passing away from colon cancer every year (roughly 134 a day), colon cancer is the second most common form of cancer-related death in the country.
2. Colon Cancer May Be Genetic
While doctors also see environmental factors at play, genetics also seem to play a role. Anyone with a family history of colon cancer should take extra precautions. Certain inherited syndromes even increase the likelihood of getting colon cancer to nearly 100%.
3. All Adults Over 45 Should Get Regular Colonoscopies
Both men and women have a 5% chance of getting colon cancer in older age. Men tend to receive a diagnosis earlier than women. People of all ethnicities can get colon cancer.
Colonoscopies are the best way to detect colon cancer. A colonoscopy involves feeding an endoscope into the gastrointestinal tract. Many doctors will offer anesthesia for the procedure, but it's not always necessary.
There are colorectal cancer screening products that you can take at home, but a medical colonoscopy gives patients more peace of mind and the ability to ask the doctor questions.
4. Early Detection Greatly Increases Survival Rate
Colon cancer starts as polyps in the body. When caught early enough, a doctor can remove these polyps, there's a 90% chance the cancer will be completely removed. After cancer grows to other parts of the body, it becomes harder to eradicate.
5. You Can Reduce the Likelihood of Colon Cancer With Good Habits
People who exercise regularly and follow a healthy diet have a lower chance of getting colon cancer. A healthy lifestyle is also extremely important during the healing process.
6. Many Patients Avoid Colonoscopies
Do not avoid your colonoscopy! Many patients put it off due to the uncomfortable nature of the procedure only to regret it too late. Famous actor Chadwick Boseman of Black Panther died from colon cancer and preached the importance of early detection in his final days with us.
Don't become a statistic. Getting a colonoscopy today can prevent advanced cancer in the future.