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Health When detected early, colon cancer can be cured, which is why screening is especially important today. Sometimes the disease progresses without any symptoms, or the symptoms are attributed to other causes. For instance, some patients might bleed internally, but they do not realize they are losing blood until a routine medical exam shows anemia. Approximately 150,000 new cases of colon cancer are diagnosed every year in the United States and nearly 50,000 people die from the disease. It has also been estimated that increased awareness and screening would save at least 3,000 lives each year. Colon cancer is highly preventable and can be detected by testing even before there are symptoms. Symptoms In the early stage of colon cancer, no symptoms are usually produced. However, the most likely warning signs include: *Changes in bowel movements, including persistent constipation or diarrhea, a feeling of not being able to empty the bowel complete, an urgency to move the bowels, rectal cramping, or rectal bleeding *Dark patches of blood in or on stool *Abdominal discomfort or bloating *Unexplained fatigue, loss of appetite, and/or weight loss *Pelvic pain that occurs at later stages of the disease Finding the Truth in Colon Cancer Colon cancer is predominantly a "man’s disease." This statement is false, as colon cancer affects an equal number of men and women. Many women, however, believe that colon cancer is a disease that only affects men and might be unaware of important information about screening and preventing colon cancer that could save their lives. This is why it is more important than ever before for everyone-both men and women-to visit their gastroenterologist for a cancer screening. Only women over the age of 50 who are currently experiencing symptoms or problems should be screened. This, too, is false. Beginning at the age of 50, all men and women should be screened for colon cancer every year even if they are not experiencing problems or symptoms. By getting screened properly, you can take the next step toward a healthy colon. A colonoscopy requires an overnight stay. This is false as well. A colonoscopy is almost always done on an outpatient basis. You will be given a mild sedative before your procedure and then a flexible, slender tube is inserted into the rectum to look inside your colon. The test is safe and the procedure itself typically takes less than 45 minutes. Preventing Colon Cancer Colon cancer is highly preventable. In addition to getting a colonoscopy, you can also make lifestyle changes to reduce your risk, such as: *Eating a variety of fruits, vegetables and whole grains *Drinking alcohol in moderation, if at all *Quit smoking *Exercising most days of the week *Maintaining a healthy weight Visit your gastroenterologist in Philadelphia for a colonoscopy today so that you can further protect yourself from colon cancer. About the Author: 相关的主题文章:

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