Colon cancer is a type of cancer that occurs in the large intestine, towards the end of the digestive tract. Although it is more prevalent in older adults, it can happen to people of all ages. Therefore it is critical that everyone should be wary of this type of cancer. Colon cancer typically starts off as small, clumps of cells called polyps. These non-cancerous clumps of cells are formed on the inside of the colon. Over time, the polyps can develop into colon cancer.
These polyps are small, and like some other cancers like pancreatic cancer, the colon cancer symptoms are not always evident in the early stages. This is why colon cancer screening is vital. However, many are prolonging the wait to their next colon cancer screening appointments because they do not realise how crucial it is to go for it regularly. Hence, here are some reasons why you should not delay your colon cancer screening any further.
The symptoms of colon cancer are not obvious
Almost every disease has symptoms. Most of these symptoms are apparent and cause people to seek medical attention upon noticing them. However, this is not the situation for most colon cancer cases.
It is extremely common for patients not to have any symptoms even as their colon cancer develops and grows over time. In the cases where there are symptoms, these symptoms are those that can be easily overlooked. For example, a change in bowel habits, dark stools, and in some situations, even unintended weight loss. Hence, it is critical that you go for routine colon cancer screenings to catch what you can’t see with your eyes and confirm that they are no suspicious polyps in your colon.
Colon cancer is treatable when detected early
Colon cancer is a type of cancer that is highly treatable when detected early. In fact, the 5-year survival rate of patients with colon cancer detected in its early stages is 90% and higher. This emphasises how important it is to have frequent check-ups and screenings to catch any form of suspicious polyps or signs of colon cancer.
Putting off colon cancer screening may lead to a missed diagnosis, and gives the cancer more time and opportunity to spread to other areas. This not only creates more complications in terms of treatment options for the cancer but also decreases the chances of treating it. Therefore, doctors all around the world strongly encourage routine check-ups and screenings to catch any signs of disease early.
Colon cancer can occur to anyone
A common misconception that many have is that they would not get cancer because of their healthy lifestyle. However, this is far from the truth, especially for a type of cancer like colon cancer. Although certain high-risk factors like being obese and consuming excessive alcohol greatly increases the chance of one getting colon cancer, people who do not have these risk factors are also susceptible to getting it.
Colon cancer is a type of cancer that affects people with a family history of it. If you have parents, grandparents or family members with colon cancer, then you have a higher chance of having it as well.
At the end of the day, going for regular screenings would not only give you peace of mind but also increase your chances of treating any potentially cancerous polyps before they turn into colon cancer. Thus, if it is time for your regular screening, don’t put it off any longer. You may call your doctor to make an appointment and go for your screening while adhering to safe distancing regulations.