Colorectal Cancer on the Rise in Young Adults

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Your Bridge to Health; Promoting Optimal Wellness for Body, Mind & Spirit

March is Colon-Rectal Cancer Awareness Month –

According to the American Cancer Society, “Thanks in part to improvements in screening, the rates of new colon and rectal cancer diagnoses have been falling in the United States for people ages 50 and older. But for people under 50, for whom routine screening is not recommended, rates seem to be increasing significantly,” especially among Generation Xers.

Prevention, Screening, Early Detection and Treatment of Colon-Rectal Cancer SAVES LIVES!  

Talk to Your Doctor About Screening.

Prevent. Screen. Treat. Early Detection Saves Lives.

Signs of Colorectal Cancer can include changes in bowel movements and blood in the stool. But cancer of the colon and/or rectum (colorectal cancer) can begin without symptoms, which is why early screening is important. Pre-cancerous and benign polyps can be removed before they become cancer. While routine screening often begins at 50, screening for those at higher risk may begin as early as 30’s. If you or your family have a history of colorectal cancer, benign colorectal polyps, or inflammatory bowel disease (ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease,) you may need to begin screenings earlier than age 50.

Increased Risk of Colorectal Cancer –

  • Family history of colon and/or rectal cancer
  • History of colorectal polyps 
  • Obesity
  • Lack of Physical Activity
  • Smoking 
  • High-Fat (Saturated/Trans-fat) Diet
  • Excess Alcohol Use

Colon Cancer Facts from the American Cancer Society –

  • Approximately 5%,  (1 in 20 Americans) will be diagnosed with cancer of the colon or rectum in their lifetime.
  • Second Leading Cause of Cancer Deaths in Men and Women
  • Approximately 9o% Cure Rate When Caught Early!

The Good News – Prevention, Early Detection and Treatment Improves Outcomes and Saves Lives!!  

** Ask Your Doctor About Screening!**

Colorectal Screening Includes (but not limited to):
  • Colonoscopy
  • Flexible Sigmoidoscopy
  • Fecal Occult Blood (FOB) (*Easily performed at home or in the doctor’s office.) **
  • Stool immunochemical test (FIT) **
  • Stool DNA test (sDNA) **

** According to the American Cancer Society, if these tests are positive a colonoscopy is recommended.

3d rendered illustration of a polyp removal

Video of Katie Couric and a screening colonoscopy –

 Decreasing the Risk of Colon-rectal Cancer –
(Many of the ‘cardiac risk factor reduction’ recommendations mentioned in earlier posts apply to ‘colorectal cancer risk reduction.’)
  • Physical Activity (of 30 minutes, 5 x a week)
  • Maintain a Healthy Weight
  • Avoid Smoking
  • Minimize Alcohol (2 Drinks for Men, 1 for Women; per day.)

Diet may also play a role in preventing colon cancer. But the study results have been mixed. Some dietary recommendations that may help reduce the risk of colorectal cancer:

    • Minimize Red and Processed Meats
    • Limit Saturated Fat in Your Diet
    • Diets Higher in Fruits, Vegetables and Whole Grains may be beneficial

Talk to your physician about colorectal screening and prevention!

Conventional Treatment for Colorectal Cancer May Include:

  • Surgery
  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiation

Consider Integrative Health Therapies for Added Support During Cancer Treatment.

Integrative Health Therapies are complementary therapies offered ‘in addition to’ (not in place of,) conventional therapies for supportive care and to minimize side effects of treatment. Integrative therapies may include: acupuncture, hypnosis, massage, meditation, reiki, tai chi, and yoga. To learn more about supportive, integrative therapies offered during cancer treatment –  Many hospitals now offer integrative therapies as part of comprehensive health care programs. Ask your physician about incorporating integrative therapies in your plan of care.

Finding an integrative health provider – and Warning: Some complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) therapies may not be recommended with your condition. Some herbal and over-the-counter (OTC) products may even interfere with your treatment!

ASK Your Oncologist. Before pursuing complementary, alternative and integrative therapies. For safety, let your physicians know if you are using CAM therapies or herbs/supplements.

‘Integrative Health (IH) Model’ – defined as incorporating conventional medicine with complementary therapies that have been demonstrated to be safe, effective and potentially minimize negative side effects. The Goal of IH – improved outcomes and increased patient satisfaction.

Sources and More Information:

American Cancer Society 

~ Prevent, Screen, Detect  and Treat Early ~
Wishing you the Best in Health,   Karen Pischke B.S.N., R.N.
Owner/Founder of Dreamtime Wellness™  Your Bridge to Health; Promoting Optimal Wellness for Body, Mind & Spirit Find us on Facebook –
Disclaimer: This blog pro­vides gen­eral infor­ma­tion and dis­cus­sion about health and related sub­jects. The words and other con­tent pro­vided in this blog, and in any linked mate­ri­als, are not intended and should not be con­strued as med­ical advice. If the reader or any other per­son has a med­ical con­cern, he or she should con­sult with an appropriately licensed physi­cian or other health care worker. Never dis­re­gard pro­fes­sional med­ical advice or delay in seek­ing it because of some­thing you have read on this blog or in any linked materials. If you think you may have a med­ical emer­gency, call your doc­tor or 911 immediately. The views expressed on this blog and web­site have no rela­tion to those of any academic, hospital, practice or other insti­tu­tion with which the authors are affiliated.

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