Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month happens every March to help educate people about the risk of colorectal cancer and the benefits of early detection. While more than 49,000 people a year lose their lives to colorectal cancer, early detection can make a difference. When caught early, colorectal cancer – which is cancer of the color or of the rectum – can be easily treated. If you have already had a colonoscopy, do your part this month and share this information with someone.
How Do I Know If I Have Colorectal Cancer?
While some people do have symptoms of colorectal cancer, such as bleeding from the rectum, blood in the stool, abdominal cramping and pain, as well as nausea and severe fatigue, some people may have no symptoms at all. Gas, bloating, and gastrointestinal discomfort can also be a sign of colorectal cancer, but because these symptoms are often ignored or attributed to dietary habits, people do not always take the risk of colorectal cancer as seriously as they should. There were nearly 150,000 new cases of colorectal cancer diagnosed in the last five years alone.
Do I Need a Colonoscopy?
Colorectal cancer screening is essential. In addition to colonoscopies, other diagnostic tools are available, including virtual colonoscopy, double contrast barium enema, flexible sigmoidoscopy, and fecal occult blood test (FOBT). These tests allow your physicians to find problems even before you experience any symptoms. Colorectal cancer screening can detect more than just cancer. It can also detect polyps, nonpolypoid lesions (which often develop into colorectal cancer), and other conditions. Finding and removing polyps and lesions is the most effective way to prevent colorectal cancer. If you are 50 years old and have never had a colonoscopy, or if you are under the age of 50 but have a family history of colorectal cancer, you should schedule your colorectal cancer screening today. For more information or to book an appointment with Gotham Gastroenterology, contact our office at 212-794-0240. Our team of experts strives to provide excellence in gastroenterology for patients in NYC. You can also make an appointment by filling out a form.