Monday , March 8 2021

Colon Cancer Awareness and Nutritional Awareness Month: The importance of Screenings and Diet and what you can do to keep yourself healthy!

Colon Cancer Awareness and Nutritional Awareness MonthThe American Cancer Society (ACS) now estimates that colon cancer is the third leading cause of cancer related death in men and women. The number of people affected by it has increased over the years among more young, and middle-aged adults. Because of these findings, ACS has lowered the recommended screening age to 45 in an effort to save lives through early diagnosis. Fortunately, more people are taking the advice of their care providers and being screened in general. As a result, newly diagnosed cases of colon cancer have declined nationally. The goal of screening is to find abnormal growths and cells in the colon early BEFORE they begin to change and become cancerous.
Polyps are clumps of cells that grow from the lining of the colon or large intestine. Anyone can develop these but the chance of them being present increases with age. In general, polyps are non cancerous. Scientists at the Mayo Clinic note that larger polyps are at greater risk for becoming cancerous. Polyps are only found on screening exams, and can be safely removed if found early. So, screening for colon cancer is very important for colon cancer prevention.
Screening for Colon Cancer
The goal of screening is to reduce the number of people who die from cancer. Here are ways to be screened:
Stool tests: Stool is collected and sent to a lab. The lab can use several different types of tests to check for the presence of blood, which can either be a sign of colon cancer or of polyps that can become cancerous.
Colonoscopy: Done to look inside the rectum and colon for abnormalities. A colonoscope (a thin, tubelike instrument with a light and lens for viewing) is inserted through the rectum into the colon. During this procedure, any abnormal tissue seen may also be sampled and removed. Colonoscopy is also used as a follow-up diagnostic test to look for colon cancer if any of the other tests listed here are found to be positive.
Flexible sigmoidoscopy: Procedure that looks inside just the lower part of the colon called the rectum and sigmoid areas, for abnormalities using a sigmoidoscope (a thin, flexible tube) that is inserted.
Symptoms of Colon Problems
Rectal bleeding. This can be a sign of colon polyps or cancer or other conditions, such as hemorrhoids or minor tears in your anus.
Change in stool color. Blood can show up as red streaks in your stool or make stool appear black. A change in color may also be caused by foods, medications and supplements.
Change in bowel habits. Constipation or diarrhea that lasts longer than a week may indicate the presence of a large colon polyp. But a number of other conditions can also cause changes in bowel habits.
Pain. A large colon polyp can partially obstruct your bowel, leading to crampy abdominal pain.
Iron deficiency anemia. Bleeding from polyps can occur slowly over time, without visible blood in your stool. Chronic bleeding robs your body of the iron needed to produce the substance that allows red blood cells to carry oxygen to your body (hemoglobin). The result is iron deficiency anemia, which can make you feel tired and short of breath.
See your health care provider if you have these symptoms. They may mean that screening or other testing for colon cancer is needed.
Although the symptoms are not always present, some indicators for possible evidence of polyps could be:
. Constipation
. Abdominal bloating
. Abdominal pain
. Excessive gas
. Diarrhea
. Bloody Stools
. Narrow stools
. Weight loss
. Vomiting
. Nausea
. Fatigue
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms call your primary doctor right away to discuss the best course of action and diagnostic testing.
Source: American Gastroenterological Association
Lifestyle Risk Factors:
. Aged 45+
. Family history
. Smoking
. Obesity
. Poor dietary habits
. Excessive alcohol consumption
Health Conditions that can affect risk:
. IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease
. Crohn’s Disease
. Ulcerative Colitis
. History of breast, uterine or ovarian cancer
. Lynch Syndrome
How your diet may help avoid Colorectal Cancer
. Add a high fiber diet such as whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.
. Eat more cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower and brussels sprouts.
. Raise calcium intake with low-fat milk, shellfish, salmon, and calcium supplements and vitamin D.
. Eat less fats, oils, butter and red meat.
. Limit intake of charcoal broiled foods, and skip salt-cured foods.
. Get active and keep your weight in the normal range.
. Limit alcohol intake.
Screenings Save Lives
It’s imperative to talk to your physician about protecting yourself and your loved ones who may be at risk for colorectal cancer. Getting a colonoscopy screening is critical for adults with risk factors or over the age of 45. A colonoscopy is an easy procedure and one that can literally save your life. If the polyps are discovered, they can be removed surgically during a colonoscopy or a sigmoidoscopy. If cancerous, chemotherapy or radiation is usually unnecessary as a secondary treatment. It’s always best to be proactive in your colon health, rather than waiting and finding that the cancerous polyps have grown and spread into other organs. Talk to your doctor about scheduling your colonoscopy today.
Your Best You, P.A.
Your Best You’s goal is to assist every patient in achieving and maintaining their best state of health possible by providing compassionate, collaborative, and comprehensive care so that every person leaves better than they arrived.
Your Best You, P.A., is a primary care and diabetes specialty practice focused on delivering unique and personalized health management services to the community. Primary care, diabetes care, and chronic disease management are their specialties. Their patients are appreciated as the expert of their life story, and Your Best You aims to assist with health-related goal setting to the best of their capacity. Their team designs treatment, management, and education plans that are based on the most current standard of care to optimize the potential and goal attainment for every patient.
To make an appointment, please call Your Best You today at (813) 936-2609.

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