Many people don't notice colon problems until they have problems. If you think you are too young to get colon cancer, or that colon cancer is difficult to treat, then you actually don't know much about colon cancer. Many things about life and health can increase your risk of colon cancer. Learn what you know about colon cancer to protect yourself from this disease.
What do you need to know about colon cancer?1. Colon cancer is often preventable
Colon cancer is a common cause of cancer death, and the good news is that it is preventable. Screening tests can detect tiny polyps before they turn into cancer, and doctors can then remove the polyps and prevent colon cancer. In its early stages, colon cancer often causes no symptoms, and these screening tests can stop cancer before it progresses.
2. Smoking can also cause colon cancer
Lifestyle plays a role in colon cancer risk, especially smoking. Long-term smokers are more likely to develop colon polyps and colon cancer than non-smokers, and smokers are also more likely to die from colon cancer. The longer you have been a non-smoker, the lower your risk of colon cancer.
3. Colon cancer also occurs in young people
Colon cancer usually strikes after age 50, but younger people are not without risk. About 10 percent of colon cancer cases occur in people 50 and younger, and the numbers are rising. Some experts believe this is because young people don't get enough exercise, eat too much red meat, and don't consume enough fruits and vegetables. Genetic factors also increase the risk of developing colon cancer at a younger age, but it's important to note that younger people often have fewer symptoms.
4. Inflammatory bowel disease increases risk of colon cancer
If you have inflammatory bowel disease, such as ulcerative colitis, you are more likely to develop colon cancer. The longer you have had inflammatory bowel disease, the greater your risk of colon cancer, with those who have had inflammatory bowel disease for more than eight years at greatest risk. If you have ulcerative colitis, ask your doctor how often you should have colonoscopies to screen for cancer.
There are many risk factors for type 2 diabetes and colon cancer: being overweight, eating a poor diet, smoking, and not getting enough exercise, but people with type 2 diabetes are also more likely to develop colon cancer and die from the disease. One theory is that high levels of insulin and sugar in the blood may cause changes in the colon that lead to cancer, and inflammation may also be responsible for the increased risk of colon cancer.