Do you know that Colorectal cancer is the 2nd major cause of cancer deaths in the US that can start as harmless growths? Colorectal cancer affects the large intestine or colon and is caused by abnormal cell growth. Getting older, family history, and unhealthy habits such as eating fatty foods, drinking too much alcohol, smoking, and not exercising enough can increase the chances of developing this cancer. Signs include changes in stool, blood in stool, feeling tired, stomach aches, and losing weight. To help prevent it, eat vegetables, stay active, control weight, limit alcohol, and avoid smoking. Aspirin and hormones might lower the risk.
Tests to check for it include stool tests, tube checks, or taking images of the intestine. Regular checkups help with early screening. Screening options for those 45+ include yearly fecal occult blood test (FOBT) or fecal immunochemical test (FIT), flexible sigmoidoscopy every 5 years, and colonoscopy every 10 years. Early cancer often needs surgery, while advanced cases might require chemotherapy or radiation.