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Colorectal health and cancer

by Healthy Living Siloam Springs Regional Hospital | March 6, 2023 at 6:00 p.m.

The American Cancer Society estimated more than 106,970 new cases of colon cancer and more than 45,050 new cases of rectal cancer will emerge in 2023. The incidence of colorectal cancer depends on individual risk factors, including a history of inflammatory bowel disease, Type 2 diabetes, racial background, and inherited conditions.

While you can't control genetic predisposition, you can control risk factors such as smoking, obesity, and lack of physical activity. Limiting alcohol and red meat in your diet can also lower the overall health risk.

Simply by getting older, you can become at higher risk for getting colorectal cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, people at average risk should start regular screening at 45. Your doctor may recommend routine screening or increased vigilance because of additional risk factors.

One in three people who should be tested for colorectal cancer hasn't even been screened. This is why only 4 out of 10 cases of cancer are found at an early stage, a devastatingly low figure as the five-year survival rate when these cancers are found early on is 90%. Multiple screening techniques allow doctors to detect cancer or the presence of precancerous polyps from which colorectal cancer can grow.

Many symptoms of colorectal cancer also can be caused by other conditions, according to the National Cancer Institute. Because colorectal cancer is more easily cured when detected early, you should see your doctor if you experience any of the following:

Abdominal pain or cramping, blood in your stool, bleeding from your rectum or dark stool;

Changes in bowel habits, including constipation, diarrhea, or narrow stool lasting more than a couple of days;

Persistent feeling that a bowel movement is necessary, even after having one;

Unexplained weakness, fatigue, or weight loss.

If your doctor finds cancer, several commonly used treatments can be highly effective, depending on how advanced the disease is. Surgery is the most common form of treatment, but your doctor may also incorporate chemotherapy, radiation, or investigational therapies.

The best type of colorectal screening depends on your family's medical history and lifestyle. Speak with your primary care physician about your risk factors and what screening is right for you.

If you're looking for a provider, visit https://bit.ly/PCP_Online to find a physician near you.

About Siloam Springs Regional Hospital

Siloam Springs Regional Hospital is a licensed 73-bed facility with 42 private patient rooms. It is accredited by the State of Arkansas Department of Health Services and The Joint Commission. Some services include inpatient and outpatient surgery, emergency medicine, medical, surgical and intensive care units, obstetrics, outpatient diagnostic services, and inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation. With more than 50 physicians on the medical staff, Siloam Springs Regional Hospital provides compassionate, customer-focused care. SSRH is an affiliate of Northwest Health, the largest health system in Northwest Arkansas. Siloam Springs Regional Hospital is located at 603 N. Progress Ave. in Siloam Springs. For more information, visit NorthwestHealth.com.

Print Headline: Colorectal health and cancer


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