Colon Cancer Awareness - A Preventive Discussion with Bronson Specialists
March is colon cancer awareness month. The colon & rectal surgeons at Bronson offer the following advice to help you lower the chances of developing disease through education and early detection.
What is colon cancer?
Colon cancer is cancer of the large intestine (colon), the lower part of your digestive system. Rectal cancer is cancer of the last several inches of the colon. Together, they're often referred to as colorectal cancers. Most cases of colon cancer begin as small, noncancerous clumps of cells called adenomatous polyps. Over time some of these polyps become colon cancers. It is the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States among men and women, and is expected to cause about 49,700 deaths during 2015 (cancer.org).
What are some of the risk factors?
Some factors that may increase your risk of colon cancer include:
- Age: most common in people over the age of 50 with an increased chance of getting colorectal cancer with each decade.
- Personal history: people with history of colitis and/or colon polyps; women who have a history of ovarian, uterine, or breast cancer have a somewhat higher risk of developing colorectal cancer.
- Family history: siblings and children of a person who has had colorectal cancer are more likely to develop colorectal cancer themselves.
This is not an all-inclusive list. Talk with your primary care provider to determine if you have other risk factors.
How often should I be screened?
People with an average risk of colon cancer should consider screening beginning at age 50 and every 10 years thereafter. But people with an increased risk, such as those with a family history of colon cancer, should consider screening sooner and more frequently. African-Americans and American Indians may consider beginning colon cancer screening at age 45 since these individuals are at a higher risk of developing the disease.
How can I reduce my risk?
There are a number of steps that you can take to reduce your risk of colon cancer by making changes in your everyday life. This includes:
- Eating a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and decrease red meat intake.
- Drinking alcohol in moderation, if at all.
- Exercise a minimum of four days per week.
- Maintain a healthy weight.
Colon & Rectal Services at Bronson
Our board certified specialists are here for you for every step of your colorectal health journey. They specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of colon and rectal polyps and cancers.
|Bronson Center for Colon & Rectal Diseases
3770 Capital Ave. SW, Suite A
Battle Creek, MI 49015
601 John St., Suite M-452
Kalamazoo, MI 49007
212 Winston Drive
Marshall, MI 49068
Karamchandani, MD, FACS, FASCRS, FICS
Chalasani, MD, FACS, MS
|Bronson Colon & Rectal Surgery
601 John St., Suite M-302
Kalamazoo, MI 49007
Chen, MD, FACS, FASCRS
For additional information on colorectal cancer, you are encouraged to visit cancer.org or speak with your primary care provider. Looking for a Bronson doctor? For a complete list of providers at Bronson, visit bronsonhealth.com/find-a-doctor or call Bronson HealthAnswers at (269) 341-7723.