Colorectal cancer, also called as colon cancer or rectal cancer, occurs in the colon or the rectum. Despite the third most common cancer in the US, it is the second leading cause of cancer death.
Early detection of colorectal cancer can be helpful to reduce the risk of colorectal cancer. Here are some early signs and symptoms of colorectal cancer.
- A change in bowel habits, including diarrhea, constipation, or narrowing of the stool.
- Blood in the stool, which is often misdiagnosed as dysentery or hemorrhoids hemorrhage.
- Abdominal pain like abdominal discomfort or bloating.
- Weakness and fatigue caused by a lower than normal level of red blood cells (anemia)
- Unintended weight loss
Some of these symptoms can also be caused by other conditions such as infection, hemorrhoids, or irritable bowel syndrome.
A number of lifestyle measures can be taken to reduce the incidence of colorectal cancer:
- Regular screenings: Those who have had colorectal cancer before, who are over 50 years of age, who have a family history of this type of cancer, or have Crohn’s disease should have regular screenings.
- Diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and fiber: Colorful plant-based food like spinach, broccoli, tree nuts and whole grains contain rich a variety of vitamins, minerals and fiber, which can help you stay away from colorectal cancer. Red and processed meats should be limited in the diet.
- Quit cigarettes and alcohol: Cigarettes and alcohol are linked to the risk of many cancers, including colorectal cancer. Quitting cigarettes and alcohol has a significant impact on lower a person’s risk of developing colorectal cancer.
- Regular exercise: A number of studies have shown that regular excise can reduce the incidence of colorectal cancer by about 20%. Individuals are usually advised to exercise 3 times a week, 30 minutes each time.