Yes, it is STILL Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month! So, just in case you have forgotten, here are the risk factors for colorectal cancer:
- Age - the risk of developing colorectal cancer increases with age, although more and more people under the age of 50 are being diagnosed with colorectal cancer.
- A family history of colon polyps or colorectal cancer - however only 10-20% of those diagnosed with colorectal cancer have a family history of the disease!
- Inherited conditions such as Familial Adenomatous Polyposis and Lynch Syndrome
- Inflammatory bowel disease such as Crohn's disease or Ulcerative Colitis
- Alcohol use
- Diet high in fat and red meat
Screening for colorectal cancer is so important because by the time symptoms of colorectal cancer appear, the cancer is usually in an advanced stage. So, even though you may feel healthy, don't neglect to get screened!
If you experience any of the following symptoms, contact your doctor right away!
- A change of bowel habits
- Blood in the stool - either bright red of very dark
- Diarrhea, constipation, or feeling that the bowel does not empty completely
- Stools that are narrower than normal
- Frequent gas pains, bloating, fullness, or cramps
- Unexplained weight loss
Don't wait until it's too late! Get screened!