Get Screened to Prevent Colon Cancer
It’s never too early to start screening for colon cancer. Early detection and prevention can save your life.
Colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths for both men and women in the United States. The American Cancer Society (ACS) estimates that more than 136,000 people will be diagnosed with colon cancer in 2016. They also estimate that over 49,000 of those cases will result in death.
It is never too early to start screening for colon cancer. If you are over the age of 50, now is the time to consider a yearly colon cancer screening. With 90% of new colon cancer cases a year occurring in people over the age of 50, your key to living a full and vital life is through early detection.
What are the risk factors for Colon Cancer?
- Being over the age of 50. About 90% of new cases occur in individuals over the age of 50. While your risk increases over the age of 50, recently there has been an increase of colon cancer diagnoses for people younger than 50.
- Family history of polyps or colon cancer. If anyone in your family has been diagnosed with polyps, you are at risk of developing colon cancer. However, if any of your first-degree relatives have been diagnosed with colon cancer, your risk of developing colon cancer is much greater – especially if they were diagnosed at an early age.
- Inflammatory bowel diseases. Being diagnosed with a condition like ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease increases your risk of developing colon cancer
- Inherited gene defects. About 5% – 10% of those who develop colon cancer have inherited gene defects. These defects can cause family cancer syndromes, like Lynch Syndrome, which can lead to developing colon cancer.
- Racial background. African Americans have the highest incidence of colon cancer than any other racial group in the United States.
- Type 2 diabetes. Having type 2 diabetes has been shown to increase your risk of developing colon cancer.
- Lifestyle choices. Smoking cigarettes, eating high amounts of red and processed meats, being non-active, and drinking alcohol excessively have been shown to increase your risk of developing colon cancer.
What can I do to reduce my risk of Colon Cancer?
- Start getting a screening colonoscopy at age 50. If you have a family history of polyps or colon cancer it is never too early to start screening. Early detection of colon cancer can save your life.
- Get the right nutrition. Eat five or more servings of a variety of vegetables and fruits every day. Avoid processed meats, like hot dogs, and limit the amount of red meat in your diet.
- Be active. Exercise and weight management are key to living well. Get at least 30 minutes of moderate or vigorous physical activity at least five days a week. Maintaining a healthy weight can also help decrease your chance of developing colon cancer.
- Quit smoking. Cigarettes contain 43 known cancer-causing compounds, along with 4,000 other chemicals and toxins. Swallowing these substances can increase the risk of developing all types of diseases in the digestive system, including colon cancer.
Are there symptoms of Colon Cancer?
- A change in bowel habits. Fluctuations in the consistency of your stool (whether diarrhea or constipation), having narrower than usual stools, or feeling like your bowel doesn’t completely empty.
- Abdominal discomfort. Having persistent abdominal cramping, gas, or pain, or feeling “full” and bloated.
- Rectal bleeding. Bright red or dark blood in your stool.
- Fatigue and Nausea. Feeling weak and tired along with losing weight with no known cause, nausea, and vomiting.
Remember that while these symptoms can indicate colon cancer, often times colon cancer does not have any symptoms. The only way to prevent or diagnose colon cancer is through routine screenings.
Your well being and gastro health is at the utmost importance to the doctors of Zazen Medical Group. Call us today at 281-869-3009 or schedule an appointment online to discuss your preventative screening and take charge of your colon health!
Why ZAZEN ?
Zazen is a meditative practice from Zen Buddhist tradition. The method helps achieve calm and insight into life and the nature of being. In search of a name for their collaborative practice, “zazen” resonates with Dr. Tamerisa and Dr. Asamoah as they seek to improve their patients’ health through a multidisciplinary approach that accounts for the very essence of being by integrating conventional with proven alternative medicine, also known as Functional Medicine.
Functional Medicine is individualized and patient-centric. The scientific methods involved take into consideration patients’ unique genome, biochemical, and environmental factors in understanding the complexity of illness. In their practice, this knowledge is harnessed to provide specific treatment plans, including wellness and nutrition education, to achieve superior overall and gastroenterological health outcomes.
It is time to reclaim your health and your life.
We know health concerns put limits on your quality of life. It is hard to see numerous doctors, undergo many tests, and receive treatment options with little relief or results.
At ZAZEN, we strive to help you feel better by balancing conventional medical know-how with alternate therapeutic approaches for long-lasting, sustained results.