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The Terre Haute Chamber of Commerce would like to thank Dr. Sharma and Digestive Health Associates for contributing as our guest blogger this month.

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COLON CANCER

What is colon cancer?

Also referred to as colorectal cancer

It occurs in the colon (or large intestine) or in the rectum

Often develops slowly

Second-leading cause of cancer mortalities in men and women combined in the United States

Before cancer develops, an abnormal growth called a polyp may develop on the inner lining of the large intestine or rectum. While polyps are common and typically don’t cause symptoms, some are dangerous and can turn into cancer over time.

What are the symptoms of colon cancer?

Colon cancer often has no obvious signs or symptoms in its early stages. By the time colon cancer symptoms show themselves, in many cases the cancer has advanced to a later stage.

If you experience any of the following colon cancer symptoms, see your doctor immediately:

A change in bowel habits, such as diarrhea or constipation that lasts for more than a few days

A feeling that you need to have a bowel movement that is not relieved by having one

Blood in your stool

Cramping or stomach pain

Weakness and fatigue

Unexpected weight loss

Can you prevent colon cancer?

PREVENTION IS BETTER THAN CURE..

Colon cancer is one of the most common cancers among men and women, but it doesn’t have to be. That’s the clincher. It’s highly preventable. By knowing about this disease and its symptoms, talking with your family about your family history, and talking with your physician about the right time for you to be screened, it’s possible to take charge of your health and prevent this disease.

Colon cancer is one of the most preventable, yet least prevented, cancers in the US today. It is the third most diagnosed cancer, and second leading cause of cancer deaths in both men and women 50 years of age and older. Despite these facts, colon cancer is one of the most treatable cancers if it is found early through screening.

Yet, 1 in 3 adults 50 years of age or older is still not getting screened as recommended.

Even if you don’t have any symptoms, regular screening is worthwhile, because it can:

Find polyps

Find colon cancer early, when it is highly treatable

Alert you to changes in your colon

FAMILY HISTORY OF CANCER IS VERY IMPORTANT

If you have family history of colon cancer or any other type of esophagus, stomach, pancreas, brain, bone, uterus, breast or ovarian cancer please speak with your Gastroenterologist today.