Hello everyone, how are you today? Well, to be honest with your, I really think that you’ll be shocked when we tell you that colorectal cancers are the third most prevalent cancer in the United States. In 2016 alone almost 140,000 people are diagnosed with either colon or rectal cancer. This is really shocking, right? Although cases of colorectal cancer are common, many people wait until it’s too late to get diagnosed. And, ladies and gentlemen, this is because symptoms of colorectal cancer are very subtle and easily overlooked. Well, this is the main reason why we’re going to tell you about the most commonly overlooked symptoms of colorectal cancer and what you can do to reduce your risk of developing it. Most Commonly Overlooked Symptoms of Colorectal Cancer:
The experts warn that abdominal cramps are one of the most overlooked symptoms of colorectal cancer mainly because they are a symptom of so many other, non-cancerous conditions. But, ladies and gentlemen, don’t get us wrong – this doesn’t mean that you should freak out if you are feeling stomach pain. But, however, if you are experiencing intense and long-lasting stomach cramps that don’t seem to be going away along with other symptoms of colorectal cancer, you should not dismiss it as it can be a major indicator.
According to the experts, fatigue is another symptom that is commonly dismissed as something less serious than it may be. Yes, we all know that many people feel fatigue without even having a condition, as not getting enough sleep is common in modern society. But, still, you should be very careful and if you feel constant fatigue, even when getting sufficient amounts of sleep and eating a well-balanced diet, along with other symptoms of colorectal cancer, then you should see a doctor – ASAP. The experts warn that cancer cells can cause fatigue as they use up the body’s energy. Colon cancer can also cause fatigue as it can cause blood loss.
- Sudden Weight Loss
Ladies and gentlemen, if you experience an immediate and dramatic decrease in weight, then you should see a doctor – immediately. Why – well, because this sudden weight loss can be caused by a variety of cancers, and one of them is colon cancer. “Unexplained weight loss” is generally described as an unintentional loss of 5% of your body weight within six months. You can take this for example – for someone who weighs 150 pounds, unintentionally losing 7 and 1/2 pounds within six months would generally be described as “unexplained weight loss”. And, this is because the cancer cells use up a lot of the body’s energy, and the immune system also works hard to prevent the disease from spreading. All of this energy expenditure causes a large amount of weight loss. With colon cancer, it is also possible that a large tumor can block the colon, which can affect one’s bowel movements and cause severe weight loss.
- Irregular Bowel Movements
Many people around the world do not pay enough attention to their bowel movements – which is a bad thing. This is very important for you to remember – the timing, consistency, and appearance of these movements can indicate various problems with your health, including the presence of colorectal cancer. Do you know what are colon polyps? Well, colon polyps, which are small bunches of cells that can become cancerous over time, begin to affect bowel movements when they turn into tumors. These tumors can affect the way your large intestine functions, and this will be reflected in the changes found in your stool. Loose, watery stools, diarrhea or constipation can all be indicative of colorectal cancer, as long as they are not being caused by any other conditions.
- Bloody Stool
Let me say this one more time – this (often overlooked symptom) brings me back to my point about people not paying enough attention to their bowel movements. The good thing is that many people would be alarmed by the sight of blood in their stool. But, the bad thing is that some people may be too embarrassed or uncomfortable to bring it up with friends, family or their doctor. Sometimes the blood in the stool may even be too dark to see unless examined thoroughly. The experts also warn that bloody stool and bleeding from the rectum is a common symptom of both colon and rectal cancer. So, ladies and gentlemen, if you notice bright, red blood on the toilet paper after wiping, or reddish/pink water in the toilet then it may be a sign of rectal bleeding. It’s very important for you not to ignore this symptom and see a doctor immediately.
- Lowering Your Risk of Colorectal Cancer
Note: don’t worry, because there are many different measures you can take and lifestyle changes you can make that will lower your chance of developing colorectal cancer. And, these are the most effective methods:
- Eat your fruits, veggies, and grains – first of all, you should know that diets rich in vegetables, fruits, and whole grains have been linked to a decreased risk of colon cancer, while diets high in red and processed meat have been linked to an increased risk of colon cancer.
- Exercise regularly – yes, you should “hit” the gym or run every day, or at least 4 times a week. Did you know that being physically inactive has been linked to an increased risk of developing colon while increasing activity reduces your risk?
- Don’t smoke – yes, STOP smoking! The experts warn that smoking has been associated with an increased risk of developing a variety of cancers, one of them being the colon.
- Manage your weight – stop eating everything and take good care of your body, because it’s the only place you have to live. Being overweight/obese not only increases your risk of developing colon cancer, but it also increases your risk of dying from it. This is because being overweight weakens your body, making it less able to fight off cancers.
- Limit alcohol – alcohol is bad for you, bot physically and mentally. We all know this one, right? The experts warn that heavy drinking has been linked to the development of colon cancer. The American Cancer Society suggests limited alcohol intake to two drinks per day. We really hope you find this article helpful and don’t forget to share it with your friends and family. Thank you and have a good one.